Herefordshire Council rakes in £50k through motorists 'overspending' at car parks (From Hereford Times)
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Herefordshire Council rakes in £50k through motorists 'overspending' at car parks
Updated 4:16pm Thursday 3rd July 2014 in News
A HEREFORD trader believes that something has to be done to help motorists after it was revealed that Herefordshire Council makes around £50,000 from people 'overspending' in car parks.
Angela Siemieniuk, who owns independent fashion accessory store Hat Trick and Foot Note in East Street, says that motorists are 'constantly hammered' which has a detrimental effect on city centre trade.
The council has confirmed £2.96million was generated in its pay and display car parks during 2013/14.
That includes around £50,000 of 'overspent' charges because change is not given.
Ms Siemieniuk, who is behind a campaign to stop on-street parking charges being introduced, said the money raised should be used to benefit the city.
"I don't know why charges can't be rounded up to say £1.50 rather than £1.70 because not everyone has the right change," she said.
"Some cities have free parking after 3pm or before 11am, which work really well.
"We're always told that the council hasn't got any money, but they have got £50,000 in overspend charges, so this money should be taken into account.
"They should also put the Merton Meadow car park back down to £2 all day because that is a car park used by a lot of workers, so you end up hitting them.
"Money needs to be used to benefit shoppers."
The council states that the cost of replacing its 60 pay and display machines across the county would be 'significant' and notices are in place to inform people that change is not given.
- IN some council-run car parks, motorists can pay via their phone.
The service is meant to be quick and easy – once you’ve registered your card details, but county resident Andrew Doyle got a nasty shock when he was charged £1,409 for parking in Venns Close in Hereford.
“I asked for two hours of parking, which was £1.70 – or so I thought,” he said.
Mr Doyle, 46, from Shobdon, who works at the Hereford Times, was shocked when he received an urgent call 24 hours later checking whether he wanted 7,774 hours of parking – to May 2015.
“The money had already left my account,” said the father of two, who is the paper’s deputy editor.
“I phoned the council and was told nobody there could help – I’d have to contact the PayByPhone service for a refund.
“It was incredibly stressful – it caused all sorts of problems with my bank – though they did sort out the refund swiftly.
“I was told by PayByPhone I most definitely requested that amount of parking according to their records and that the service would have confirmed that amount.
“In other words – I must have done something wrong – but I don’t recall entering 7,774 or being told I was paying £1,400 – I can’t see why I would.”