March 11 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Parking restrictions at the Towerfields leisure complex in Huntingdon have been suspended and those who have been fined will be reimbursed following pressure from infuriated motorists and The Hunts Post.
This newspaper was inundated with letters, emails and phone calls from outraged readers who had received £100 fines after breaking the new – and poorly signposted – three-and-a-half hour parking limit.
Many argued it was impossible to watch a film and eat a meal at one of the Towerfield restaurants without breaking the restrictions and receiving a fine in the post two weeks later.
Last week we started an online petition calling on Legal & General, the site’s landlord, to scrap the restrictions and the fines and turn off the cameras used to record vehicle registration plates.
And on Monday, a spokesman for Legal & General told The Hunts Post the restrictions had been suspended.
She said: “We suspended the cameras because public feedback alerted us to the fact that they were not doing the intended job.
“As you know, with the full support of operators at the park, they were only ever intended to ease any potential congestion and ensure that members of the public were not abusing Towerfields’ free car park.
“This was for the benefit of our customers and they were never intended as an income generator, merely to act as a deterrent.
“Following this quick course of action, we are now in discussions with the operator to look at ways of refunding all tickets issued to date and expect to be able to update people early in the new year.”
Legal & General said the parking restrictions were introduced to stop people from parking at the site then shopping elsewhere – an argument that left many puzzled.
David Collon, 52, of Park Road, Ramsey, received a fine after visiting Chiquito and watching Gravity at Cineworld with his partner, Lynne Thurlbourn, on November 30 – the first day the initiative was introduced.
He said: “I’m very pleased they have changed their minds. It was terribly done from the start. What they did was never going to stop people parking there, what they need to do is stop people going in when the car park is full. There just isn’t enough parking there.
“It goes to show what your local newspaper can do. Thank you very much.”
It is believed the limit will be adjusted to allow for longer parking.
The number of parking spaces at the site was reduced by 25 when two new restaurants were built. The car park has capacity for 465 vehicles.