Parking time limits in Portishead criticised

PUBLISHED: 15:26 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:38 16 May 2018

The car park at Harbour Road.

The car park at Harbour Road.

Archant

Strict parking enforcement of private car parks has prompted a call for businesses to be more lenient with motorists.

Several car parks in Portishead use private firms to enforce time restrictions and to issue fines when people overstay their allotted time.

But following an increase in the people reporting being fined – with many claiming to have been incorrectly penalised – a call has been made for regulations to change.

Portishead Town Council chairman Lesley Cottrell has received complaints about the car parks which serve Lidl, Wetherspoons, Majestic Wines, Subway, Home Bargains and Travelodge, as well as Old Mill in the High Street.

A two-hour limit is in place in Harbour Road, but she feels this is not long enough.

Cllr Cottrell told the Times: “I am concerned the two hours permitted is insufficient, especially for disabled drivers who may need more time to go about their business.

“I have also found some drivers don’t realise there is a two-hour restriction.

“I strongly feel it would be better business practice for these companies to support their customers by providing longer parking times.

“There are some free parking spaces alongside these car parks but drivers seem confused as to which spaces these are.

“The free car parking spaces are the ones on the far side of the car parks in question, beyond the yellow hoops. And the sliproad adjacent to Waitrose car park, leading to the free spaces, also provides unrestricted parking.

“In addition Alliance Homes, on the other side of Harbour Road, has car parking facilities which are available to the public outside office hours.”

Wetherspoons has promised it will contact Parkingeye – which manages the car park – to see if it will introduce a charge for anyone wishing to stay more than two hours, in an effort to reduce the number of fines.

The Times, meanwhile, has been contacted by several people who have been fined for overstaying at The Old Mill pub car park.

Time restrictions are designed to prevent motorists from using the car park and go shopping in the High Street, but a number of Times readers say they have been fined despite being a customer of the pub and getting tickets authorised by staff.

A sit-in protest was carried out at the pub last month.

Cllr Cottrell, speaking at the town council’s planning meeting on May 2, said the pub’s parking set-up was a ‘very interesting concept’.

She said: “I have heard some complaints from people who have been fined.

“How is it a good business model when you want people to go in and spend money?”

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