Victory for ‘people power’ over parking

WARNING Roger Wallis dressed as a vulture to protest against the car park changes
WARNING Roger Wallis dressed as a vulture to protest against the car park changes

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MOTORISTS have claimed victory after controversial new parking rules were overturned.

Anyone who parked at Central Retail Park, in Havant, and left the site for any length of time, was given a £100 fine.

The company that runs the car park, Jones Lang Lasalle, said it had to bring in the measures because spaces were getting clogged up by people not actually using the stores they were for such as Aldi and Wickes.

But now, after scores of complaints and an intervention by an MP, the off-the-site rule has been overturned and anyone who received a fine should appeal it.

Lots of people were caught out when the rules were brought in, in July, because they thought the old rules applied – three hours parking with no restrictions.

Roger Wallis even took to protesting dressed as a vulture and spent the day warning people what fine they faced as they left the site, off Park Road North.

Mr Wallis, of Abbotstone Avenue, Leigh Park, said: ‘This is a victory for people power.

‘I was fined £100, which is outrageous. But it took me standing there dressed as a parking vulture to make something happen. I’m not paying my fine because, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not legal.

‘I’ll happily turn up in court dressed as a parking vulture and take all the other motorists who have been fined with me. At long last this has been sorted out.’

Havant MP David Willetts stepped into the row, asking the firm to review the policy.

In a letter to Jones Lang Lasalle, he said: ‘I do understand that customers should pay when using one of the nearby shops, but it is very restrictive if they can only use those shops and not walk across the road into Havant to also shop there.

‘I recall that when the retail park was built, it was the hope and the intention that people would indeed walk across the road into Havant.

‘I would be grateful if you could review your policy.’

Dennis Ansell, from Ernest Road, Leigh Park, received a £100 fine when he popped into the town centre before making his way back to Aldi.

He said: ‘When I was shopping in Aldi today, I noticed the parking issue is sorted, the parking company has covered over the going off site part of their parking sign. This is power to the people.’

People claimed the car park signs were too high, too small, and obscured by trees.

In a statement a spokeswoman for Jones Lang Lasalle said: ‘Fines for overstaying will only be issued to customers who park beyond the free two hours.

‘Customers coming and going from the site within this period will not be ticketed.

‘People who have been fined previously for leaving the site under this time will be able to appeal for a refund from UK Parking Control who manage the car park.’

UK Parking Control did not respond to calls from The News.