MP vows to step in over Cosham clamping problem

SPEAKING OUT Penny Mordaunt
SPEAKING OUT Penny Mordaunt

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PENNY Mordaunt has promised to protect people whose vehicles have been clamped in a Cosham car park.

The Portsmouth North MP has responded to emails from constituents who feel they have been unfairly clamped behind Cosham High Street.

She says she will work to improve the car park, as well as help some people who have been fined to receive refunds.

She said: ‘I visited after receiving emails from people who have been clamped and fined. I agree with them.

‘The signage is awful. It was free, then changed over to being paid-for, so the least that’s needed are clear signs so people know they must pay.

‘People have been charged £200 or more by the clampers.

‘I want to make sure people who have been unfairly fined are refunded, and I will check the law on how this operates.’

Since the start of this month, there have been several complaints from drivers who have had their vehicles clamped at the 62-space car park, which is owned by Lee Baron Ltd (LBL).

It was free, but now has clampers in operation on site to catch those who try to avoid paying.

But drivers insist they were unaware they had to pay, and say on one occasion parking ticket machines were broken.

Ms Mordaunt and Portsmouth City Council’s head of transport Cllr Jason Fazackarley hope to meet with representatives from Lee Baron Ltd this week. Cllr Fazackarley believes the council may be able to offer a compromise.

He said: ‘The car park’s privately owned, and Lee Baron Ltd is entitled to charge if it wants to.

‘But we recently did a deal with the Royal Marines Museum where we installed ticket machines and staff the car park, on a profit-sharing deal. I’ll be suggesting something similar at our meeting. That could help by bringing in a more familiar organisation to the charging process there.’

Kevin Kelehan, of LBL, said: ‘This is a bit premature. A privately-owned car park has some people clamped for not paying to park and the MP wants to be involved? If anyone has suggestions, I’ll listen to them. But I haven’t had contact from any MP, or the council yet. And we’re in a 12-month contract with the clamping firm, so we can’t break that.’

Anyone who has been clamped, had not seen the signs, did not see the tariff notice, or has been fined more than £80 can contact Ms Mordaunt on (023) 9269 7266, or at info@pennymordaunt.com