Louth shopkeepers have called for parking ticket refunds to be given out to affected motorists after one parking zone in Eastgate was revealed to be unenforceable due to a signage flaw.
The limited waiting bay that runs between Walker’s Dry Cleaning and Robinson’s greengrocers should have a sign at both ends of the bay in order for the 30-minute time limit to be enforceable.
However, while there is a sign at the Robinson’s greengrocers end of the bay, there is no sign at the Walkers Dry Cleaning end. It is understood that the reason behind this is that it would clash with the Meridian Line.
Dean Myhill, the Area Highways Manager at Lincolnshire County Council, told the Leader that the sign has been removed, and that the county council is currently in the process of replacing it.
He said: “The street in general is compliant and is patrolled and enforced. However we are aware there’s a slight issue at one end of the limited waiting bay where the sign has been removed and are currently in the process of replacing it.
“The new sign will be situated to avoid the Meridian Line and also clear of the launderette”
However, local business owners have told the Leader that they can’t recall there ever being a sign next to Walker’s Dry Cleaning, which means that countless parking tickets given to motorists for overstaying the time limit during recent years may have been legally unenforceable.
Chris Robinson, the owner of Robinson’s greengrocers, said that those who had received fines for overstaying the 30 minute limit should “absolutely” be refunded.
He said: “If that is the case, and that is the law, then I do think people should receive refunds.
“The parking in Louth is horrendous, full stop. We need at least an hour’s free parking in this area.”
Marc Atack, from MBA Flooring, agreed that there should be refunds for those affected, and added: “It’s damaging the local businesses in this area, and it’s putting people off coming.
“All that loading bay across the road could be used for more free parking. At the moment it’s pretty much only used for Wilkinsons.”
Another Eastgate business owner, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Leader: “I think all the people in the last few years who have had a parking ticket should get their money back.
“They should all get a refund as the tickets were given out falsely.
“At the end of the day, because the signage is not there, these fines have been given out illegally and people should be compensated.”
Pip Malloy, who owns Damselfly across the road from the 30-minute parking bay, said: “We’ve had a lot of customers who have been given parking tickets for being in that section across the road, and they’ve said they’re sick of it.
“I think that 30 minutes there is probably reasonable, but I think they’ve got to give a bit, to keep the town fluid and moving and to keep the good feeling in Louth.
“They’ve got to be realistic about it. People do make mistakes, and so often people say that they do get really, really upset about the parking in town.”
However, Pip disagreed that refunds should be handed out to people who received fines.
“It’s probably a little bit picky. What bothers me is that if these people are going to get their money back then the county council is going to have to get it back in another way”, she said.
“If there’s never ever been the correct sign there, then how much is that going to cost?
“Sometimes you should just let sleeping dogs lie, in my opinion.”
What do you think? Have you been given a ticket for staying too long in this parking bay?
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