'People are saying they won't come back'- fears over car park impact sparks council response
PUBLISHED: 21:53 19 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:11 20 February 2019
© Archant Norfolk 2014
Town councillors have hit out at the operation of a busy car park which they say is putting people off coming to the town and leading to daily complaints.
Fakenham Town Council discussed ongoing issues with the Millers Walk car park, in the town centre, at a meeting on Tuesday night.
Users are entitled to two free hours of parking and must input their number plate into a machine in order to get a ticket.
But several people who have received fines attended the meeting to voice frustration about the circumstances in which they received them.
One member of the public recounted how he had been “threatened with court action” after refusing to pay a fine when he was parked for four minutes, while another said he had been asked to pay a fine when both machines had not been working.
On the day of the meeting, council clerk Linda Jennings said she had received 10 complaints and added: “Not a week goes past where we don’t get a complaint. People are emailing us from all over the country saying they won’t come back again.”
Councillors agreed to write another letter to London-based company CBGA Robson, which manages the car park, to raise the issues.
Councillor Sean Mears said: “The parking seems to be actively discouraging people from shopping in Fakenham.”
Mayor of Fakenham George Acheson agreed that a letter should be written from the town council and said: “The things we want to bring up are ticket machines not working and the need for a sign to say who to contact.
“We want to say it is very difficult to see the machines when the sun is shining, if you’ve got registration recognition why do you need a ticket as well? And we want a larger sign at the entrance saying clearly that you will be punished.
“It is suggested that there is a period without any penalty for 20 or 30 minutes and that will solve the issues with driving through and the lack of spaces. We will complain about the intimidating letters and the level of the fines we believe should be the same as district council car parks.”
Last week, Peter Bellman, managing partner at CBGA Robson, said: “We are not trying to get a fine, we are trying to stop people who work in the offices parking there all day. At our expense we are changing the machines to make them better for people there.”