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MP's speech spotlights parking signs rip-off
[18 Sept 2012] Nick Smith, MP for Blaenau Gwent, gave a superb speech to the Commons yesterday when introducing his Bill to get private-parking signs clarified. The speech is here:
The full text is given here as well in purple type:
I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision relating to signage and ticketing technology for parking charges used in publicly-available car parks; and for connected purposes.
This is a straightforward Bill. It will get a better deal for the motorist and stop them being ripped off at car parks. Misleading and confusing signs are inexcusable; it should be simple to get the signs and pay machines right.
Last autumn, angry constituents came to see me when a new operator took over a town centre car park in Ebbw Vale. Within weeks, I had received a flood of complaints from blue badge holders. There were criticisms about signage, and about a complicated payment system in which drivers had to enter their car registration number into a fiddly key pad. I am fed up with poor signage in car parks that confuses and confounds the motorist. At that car park in my constituency, motorists were told, in micro-print:
“Do not leave the car park to retrieve change in order to purchase a valid ticket”.
The fact that they are unable to read that instruction before entry makes it hard for the motorist to do the right thing; it also helps the operator to pocket fines. However, the British Parking Association, which oversees the self-regulation of the private car parking industry, told me that that sign was acceptable.
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