Fines up at 'confusing' Denmark Street car parkBy Lewis Rudd
November 05, 2009
Signs aimed at preventing drivers falling foul of a town centre car park’s confusing duel management have failed to significantly reduce fines.
However, the borough’s lead councillor for transport has said Wokingham Borough Council can do no more to prevent drivers buying tickets from the wrong machine in the Denmark Street car park.
Figures obtained by The Wokingham Times show the number of fines issued by the council since 2008 has increased, despite signs placed on the fence dividing the council-run section of the car park and Euro Car Parks side.
The council has revealed between October 2006 and September 2007, before the signs were placed along the boundary fence in November 2007, there were 196 fines issued in its section of the car park. Between 2007 and 2008, this dropped to 151, however from 2008 to September this year the number of fines has increased to 186.
Although these figures include fines for failure to display any ticket or displaying out of date tickets, there are still a significant number of drivers being fined for displaying a ticket in the council car park that has been purchased from a Euro Car Parks machine.
The news comes after more drivers came forward to complain about the being fined.
Abby Clark parked in the Euro Car Parks section but purchased a ticket for the car park belonging to the borough council.
The 28-year-old, from Wokingham, was initially hit with a £60 fine, but saw her punishment rise to £80 after missing the payment deadline because she contested the decision.
Miss Clark said: “People are obviously not getting the message because more people are still getting fines.”
Andrew Sever, 60, from Emmbrook, was also fined for parking in the Euro Car Parks section and displaying a council ticket.
He said: “People won’t want to come in to Wokingham anymore because the signs are just so confusing.
“It’s wrong, just so wrong, in fact it’s absolute madness. This is no way to encourage people to come shopping in Wokingham.”
Councillor Keith Baker, executive member for highways and transport, said he believes the signage in the car park and on its ticket machines is clear.
He said: “Euro Car Parks will have to speak for themselves but we have done as much as we possibly can to highlight to those who use the car parks which one they are using.”