Parking restrictions at Towerfields in Huntingdon suspended

Car Parking signs at Towerfields, Huntingdon. Car Parking signs at Towerfields, Huntingdon.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
4:00 PM

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.

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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.

6 comments

  • There are 465 car parking spaces? This is definitely an error.

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    Lisa Clifton

    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

  • These AREN'T fines. These are Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) issued by companies appointed to manage parking on such sites. They are not fixed Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued by policecouncils etc. Note the deliberately confusing acronyms. Parking Charge Notices work on principle that you will not breach the terms of contracttrespass as identified on signs at entrances to the parking areas. Signs must be clearly visible but with all the signage on display in retail marks they are often not that clear. The print us also often too small to read. (Addenbrookes Hospital car parking contract signs for example). Many use automatic number plate recognition systems to issue a Parking Charge Notice. Max they can charge ( I think ) is £100, but must be massively reduced for prompt payment. However, if you were on site for legitimate reasons - eg shopping in the shops served by the parking ( and not parking there and going off elsewhere ), then don't pay it. Appeal and send evidence eg receipts for your time shopping there. I've had two of these one and won both. They are not legally regulated, although many companies are members of the British Parking Association. They have a code of practice for members to follow, and an appeals process too. Don't ignore Parking Charge Notices, but do check out the following for dealing with these ... http:www.theaa.compublic_affairsreportsparking-tickets-private-land.html http:www.moneysavingexpert.comreclaimprivate-parking-tickets http:www.britishparking.co.ukAOS

    Report this comment

    Mark Elsdon

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

  • This is a joke.... We held a birthday party for our daughter at Cineworld followed by Frankie & Benny's. Took two cars because we had 11 kids and received two £100 parking fines. let's see how quickly they respond.....

    Report this comment

    TheMoosehut

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

  • L&G need to rethink the entire idea. I was planning to go see Hobbit 2 but after reading the news, gave it up. I can't be the only one. How much revenue has been quietly lost as a result of this badly thought-out idea?

    Report this comment

    Richard Flynn

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

  • I received a letter dated the 27th December. I was at a christmas party on 5th December for 27 people so therefore it was always going to be over the time - although I was unaware of the time limit at the time. Does this now mean I do not have to pay this?? It is ridiculous having a short time limit, you can barely watch some films in this time. Do Huntingdon council members want us to use Peterborough or St Neots instead, because that is what is going to happen if we get fined every time! I am going there tomorrow and if it wasn't a pre-booked event, I wouldn't be going! I am sure the new restaurants are not happy either..

    Report this comment

    Donna Barnes

    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

  • I am in the same position as Donna, received a letter on the 27th of December following a large work christmas meal at Chiquitos on the 16th of December. If the cameras have been suspended does that mean we do not have to pay? Does anyone know the best people to confirm this?

    Report this comment

    keen0103

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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