April 23 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
The Hunts Post is calling on the landlord of Towerfields leisure park, in Huntingdon, to ditch the fines after motorists were hit with £100 bills for overstaying a new parking time restriction.
Last week, we revealed that Legal & General (L&G) had started to limit drivers to three-and-a-half hours parking.
It left several people with fines because they had watched a film before visiting one of the nearby restaurants.
Cinema-goers have the option to extend a stay to five hours – a necessity if they are planning to watch the latest instalment of the Hobbit film, which is just under three hours long.
Customers wishing to extend their stay to five hours must register their licence plate on a machine in the cinema’s foyer.
But many are concerned the signs warning of the time restriction are unclear and that the reasons behind the change are ridiculous – L&G says the initiative was launched to cut down on the number motorists parking at Towerfields and shopping nearby.
L&G also recently built new restaurant units on the site, cutting by 25 the number of parking spaces.
Since our report last week, we have been inundated with responses from angry readers, with many calling on L&G to scrap the fines.
Hannah Turner said: “I think the parking restrictions are ridiculous. You could easily spend more than three hours there by having dinner and going to the cinema. What about if you see a three-hour film? This needs to be scrapped.”
Ken Mackenzie also contacted The Hunts Post after visiting the site and prolonging his stay by registering his car.
He said: “The available parking has become inadequate as a result of a new development that removed parking spaces while adding more restaurants.
“It was entirely predictable that more pressure would be put on parking space and, as parking is clearly judged to be inadequate, deciding to go ahead with the development showed either very poor judgement, or perhaps plain greed, on the part of the landlord.
“I also extremely surprised to hear [according to a spokesman for Legal and General] that the scheme has the backing of the on-site businesses. If that is the case, it indicates something close to contempt for their customers.”
David Griffin said the prospect of fines would turn people to Peterborough instead of Huntingdon.
He said: “Fines of £100 make it much cheaper to go to Peterborough rather than use the Huntingdon complex. Therefore, I will definitely give Towerfields a miss.”
Janet Kelly called the scheme “idiotic”. She said: “What a really great shame that a fantastic resource such as the cinema and restaurant complex is so seriously compromised by the reduced parking and now an idiotic time restriction.
“We have had to abandon a couple of visits to Cineworld since the two new restaurants were built due to the lack of parking and so now we have to arrive at least 30 minutes earlier than we normally did for popular screenings.
“Huntingdon has a remarkable capacity to thoroughly discourage shoppers and visitors and send them off to nearby towns and cities – it must be the town’s particular skill these days.”
Angela Irons said: “Although I would have been as angry as other customers had I been fined £100, I had to laugh at the reason why it was allegedly introduced – to stop people parking there and shopping elsewhere. The shops in this area have more than adequate parking.”
INFORMATION: To sign a petition to get Legal & General to scrap the parking restrictions, visit www.huntspost.co.uk/news/ditch-the-fine.