Shoppers left angry as enforcers clamp down at Portsmouth car park for second day

Gino D'Acampo

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ANGRY shoppers clashed with car clampers as parking controls were enforced in a car park for a second day.

Motorists saw their vehicles clamped after leaving them in the car park behind High Street, Cosham.

ANGRY Ronald Horton, right, complains to a clamping official at the Cosham car park. (112443-1)

ANGRY Ronald Horton, right, complains to a clamping official at the Cosham car park. (112443-1)

One of two pay-and-display machines at the 62-space site was out of order at the beginning of the day, so some drivers parked without buying a ticket.

Lee Baron Limited (LBL), which manages the site, said people should have used the other parking machine, which was working.

By 10am both machines were broken, so motorists who parked after that time could leave their vehicles for free.

But five motorists who parked while the second machine was still working were told to pay up £205 to release clamps.

Some told The News they believed both parking meters were broken because warning signs had not been displayed.

LBL said it was impractical for them to put up temporary signs.

Ronald Horton, 74, from Blakemere Crescent, Paulsgrove, said: ‘It’s daylight robbery. I tried to pay for a ticket but it wouldn’t take my money. I’ve never been clamped in my life. I won’t be shopping in Cosham any more.’

Rachel Hurt, 36, from Mill Road, Waterlooville, said: ‘I offered to give the wheel clamper money for the hour I had spent shopping.

‘They refused and told me I had to pay the penalty charge. It’s absolutely disgusting.’

Beverley Ward, 54, from Farlington, said: ‘There weren’t any signs telling people the machines were out of order.’

Pay meters were introduced by LBL last month to discourage commuters taking up spaces for local shoppers.

The tariff is set at 50p an hour or £3.50 daily But it caught out shoppers with several also being clamped on Thursday, as reported in The News.

Clamped motorists were yesterday told by staff at Citywatch Parking Enforcement to appeal to their London headquarters.

A spokesman for the firm said: ‘We want to stress that we only clamped cars which did not display parking tickets when a machine was active. The site owner has been informed that both machines are out of order and they will be resolving this issue as soon as possible.’

Kevin Kelehan, from site managers LBL, added: ‘It is with great regret that people have faced this action. But a machine was clearly operational at the time they parked. Our new charges are very reasonable and we’re working hard to get machines running again.’ Barry Walker, Portsmouth City Centre Manager, said: ‘It’s going to have a detrimental impact on business in Cosham.

‘The message it’s going to send people is to stay away from the area, they will end up going to North Harbour to shop at Tesco instead.’

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