Car park message confusion

DRIVERS have been left with some confusion after a message was sent out regarding the usage of a new temporary car park in Spilsby town centre.

The car park, situated at the former Jacksons site, originally intended not to ask its customers to pay for parking over the festive period.

However, after around a week, the Robin Hood Parking Ltd (RHPL) run site had meters installed and asked car users to pay once more.

Spilsby Police say they didn’t receive any ‘notification’ about the intention to start charging once more and said that some divers have been ‘caught out’ once parked and asked to buy a ticket.

Community Beat Manager, PC Matthew Dickinson, who previously sent out a message urging people to use the free car park other than face getting a Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for illegal parking, said: “The Robin Hood car park was originally free for people to use when it opened earlier this month but about a week later, we were told it had started charging.

“I think people were under the impression it was going to be free for longer and a few drivers have been caught out and been told to purchase a ticket. It would have been better if we’d received some communication about the intention to start charging again.”

But RHPL say, it had hoped that the car park would remain free for longer but the installation of the ticket machines arrived sooner than they thought.

“It was opened for a short while for free but then the ticket machine appeared. The free period was just a physical delay before the installation,” said managing director for RHPL, Robert Palmer.

Despite the confusion, RHPL hope the car park will be well-used to enable phase two of the project to be developed, allowing for more spaces.

“I think it is a fantastic site for a car park and I’m passionate about parking and I want to use my time and effort to make it a great edition to the town and hopefully it will be a success,” added Mr Palmer.

Mr Palmer was also keen to point out to residents that the car park operates on a one-way system, meaning drivers must access the site from High Street and leave via Reynard Street.

“The council were keen on the site being accessed like this as the High Street is a public thoroughfare,” commented Mr Palmer.

And despite the car park starting to charge, PC Dickinson stated that to avoid a FPN of £30 divers must act responsibly and choose one of the five car parks to park in.

But Mayor of Spilsby Coun Michael Lenton believes that although the meters had been put in place earlier than expected, charging could have been ‘delayed’.

He said: “Although the meters were installed quicker than anticipated it still doesn’t mean that they have to start charging, it was their decision and them alone. It wasn’t mandatory and could have been pushed back. I am however, in support of that area being used as a car park as it is ideally situated. The tariffs are very reasonable, as are the East Lindsey ones, in my opinion but on the charging issue, they were not going to charge during the festive period and told the police about not charging but didn’t contact them when they decided to.”

l What do you think? Email amy.gallivan@jpress.co.uk