Grantham Journal letter: When is a space not a space?
I was interested to see your article in June about the problems with overzealous parking attendants in Westgate and thought I would send you our story from last week.
My wife, daughter and I have never been to Grantham before, but as we were driving up to a family wedding in Yorkshire, we thought it would make a pleasant spot to stop for lunch.
So we drove in and found a parking place in Westgate. This was a space between two cars, parking head-on to the kerb. Being careful and law-abiding drivers, we naturally checked the parking signs, which allowed two hours parking. So we explored the town, looking in some shops, making a few purchases, and stopping for coffee and snacks in one of your coffee shops.
Presumably, it is a good thing if visitors come to Grantham and spend a bit of money!
We were very distressed and angry to find a PCN when we returned to our car, and couldn’t imagine what it was for. We had returned well within the time limit (being careful about parking).
When we read the small print on the PCN, it said “not parked within the markings of the bay or space”. Again, we couldn’t understand this, as there were no markings at all in this bit of parking. A neighbouring driver commiserated with us and pointed out that there were some small stone sets in the paving that marked bays.
You can see from the attached photo that these are not at all clear to see - certainly not from a car approaching and parking.
Given that the paving is multi-coloured, how is one supposed to know that these were official parking bays.
We are appealing the PCN with Lincolnshire County Council and hope that they will cancel the PCN – which is for a hefty £25, rising to £50. Looking into the law, the Highway Code says that parking bays are supposed to be marked in white, so we hope that this is clear grounds for cancelling the fine.
Unfortunately, the distressing impact for our family will not go away, or the impression that has been given of Grantham and Lincolnshire as an unwelcoming place to visitors. This is a shame.