TOWN centre traffic chaos was caused after a lorry was forced to stop in the middle of a busy Greenock town centre road.

The vehicle became stuck after drivers parked on yellow lines on both sides of Jamaica Street, pictured, meaning the driver was unable to turn left onto West Stewart Street.

Traffic was backed up for almost half an hour during the jam yesterday afternoon, as delivery men waited for the owner of a red car to move the vehicle.

A number of lorries have become stuck on the busy town centre thoroughfare due to the increase in illegal parking which has followed a police decision to axe traffic wardens.

Greenock shop owners have grown frustrated by the problem and say careless drivers are causing congestion on the roads and damaging their businesses.

Marcella McBride, who owns Allday Pets on Jamaica Street, said: "I'm seeing more and more cars parking here all day.

"My customers can't get to my shop and deliveries can't be made - it's ridiculous.

"The van was trying to turn the corner but couldn't because of so many cars parked illegally on the right-hand side." They have also again called for greater parking law enforcement.

Lynne McArthur, who runs the Ulla family boutique jewellery store on West Blackhall Street, says the problems are just as bad there.

She told the Tele: "There's no shopkeeper any different, we are all in the same boat.

"We've had meetings with the council and the police about enforcement of parking laws but we've been told nothing will be done until 2014 when parking meters are put in everywhere.

"What does it take to have two traffic wardens? We only had three before and it worked.

"Someone will be seriously hurt because there's so many cars parked everywhere - there's a reason there are yellow lines.

"Parking around Greenock town centre is affecting business and business is hard enough to come by without parking where they want all day long."