Thursday, 17 August 2017

£70 fines for drivers who overstay in town car parks

DRIVERS who exceed short-stay parking restrictions in Watlington car parks will be fined up to £70.

DRIVERS who exceed short-stay parking restrictions in Watlington car parks will be fined up to £70.

The parish council will begin enforcing restrictions at the Hill Road and recreation ground car parks this month.

Drivers will be fined £35 if their car is parked for longer than three hours in the short-stay bays. The penalty will be doubled if the car is left for more than 24 hours.

Vehicles could be towed away if they are parked incorrectly. Until now, the council has only put warning stickers on offenders’ cars.

The council received one objection during its month-long public consultation.

Chairman Ian Hill said the charges were being introduced to make sure that there were spaces available for people visiting the town. He said: “There are cars overstaying their welcome so this is something we need to introduce and we hope it makes a difference. We have had complaints that there are not enough parking spaces and we need to save spaces for people who want to shop in the town.”

A week-long survey carried out in November last year found that the car park was at its busiest between 11am and 1pm when it was full or almost full.

Some cars were found to be parked outside the authorised bays and some remained in short-term bays for more than two hours. One car was left in a two-hour disabled bay for three days without a blue badge on display.

Cllr Hill said the council would not employ an attendant to patrol the car parks full-time but instead planned to use council workers to check them regularly.

He said the proceeds from the fines would be put towards the upkeep of the car parks.

Drivers using the Hill Road car park will be charged £35 if their car is parked for more than three hours in the two-hour short-stay bays between 9am and 5pm on Mondays to Saturdays, parked in a disabled bay without the relevant permit or parked outside a bay. These fines will be doubled if not paid within 14 days of the notice.

Drivers using the car park will also be charged £25 if their car is parked in the short-stay bays for between two and three hours from 9am to 5pm, or £50 if the fine is not paid within 14 days. Cars can be parked free of charge for up to 15 hours between 5pm to 9am on Mondays to Saturdays or up to 23 hours on Sundays. Commercial traders wishing to use either car park will be charged £20 a day.

Notices will be displayed in the car parks before the charges come into effect.

* What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley, RG9 1AD or email letters@henleystandard.co.uk

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