PORTSMOUTH North MP Penny Mordaunt has called on a parking firm to install illuminated signs after a motorist was clamped during an evening shopping trip.
Motorist Jane Hanton, 51, was ordered to pay £205 by City Watch Enforcement because she didn’t pay to park in a permit-only space behind the Iceland store in Cosham.
She hadn’t seen the small signs, which say motorists without a permit will be clamped, when she stopped by to do her evening shopping on Tuesday, December 13.
After Jane stumped up the cash she saw the two unlit signs – one behind a parked car and another 10ft up on the back wall of the Iceland store. Both signs, which are in small type, were unreadable in the dark.
Jane, of Colesbourne Road, Paulsgrove, said: ‘I parked at 5.17pm, and at this time of year it’s pitch black by then.
‘When I came out of the shops 15 minutes later, I had been clamped.
‘The clamper pointed out the signs, but to me they weren’t readable. You could barely see anything let alone a small sign.
Ms Mordaunt said: ‘I tried to persuade City Watch to put up illuminated parking signs in the past but it refused.
‘It said its signs were adequate and were large and clear enough for people to notice, even at night.
‘I am calling on City Watch to reconsider its decision.’
The nine permit-only spaces behind Iceland and an adjacent car park on Old Market Road, in Cosham, are owned by Portsmouth City Council and leased out to Lionsgate Properties.
A pay-and-display sign was recently installed on the back wall of the car park, which is managed by Lee Baron on behalf of the leaseholder.
But the sign is failing to attract attention.
Ms Mordaunt said: ‘When motorists enter the car park they’re focused on driving and try to find a space. They’re not necessarily looking at the back wall. Lee Baron should look into putting a larger sign at the entrance.’