Rip Off Britain: Lawyer Gary Rycroft gives tips on parking tickets
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Dozens of vehicles were blocked in a car park next to Barmouth Beach, Wales last week after several campervans and cars were parked illegally in specially designated bus spaces. A picture from the scene showed a row of vehicles with parking tickets tucked under their windscreen wipers and nowhere to go after being blocked by the coaches whose parking spots they had occupied.
The car park contains eight double-length parking spaces that are normally used by buses as they drop off day-trippers.
But with the spaces taken up by cars and campervans, the coaches were left with no option but to park in the centre of the car park, blocking the other vehicles and themselves in the process.
Scenes like this occur regularly in Barmouth during the peak summer season with residents left struggling to find parking spaces themselves, even outside their own homes.
That is according to local councillor Rob Triggs who described the situation as a “conundrum”.
Mr Triggs told NorthWalesLive: “When the weather is good, the town fills up quite quickly and that’s what we saw over the weekend.
“It’s something that happens about six to 10 days every year, we just don’t have the capacity to deal with the amount of people coming in.
“It’s a conundrum because if we were to simply create more parking spaces we wouldn’t be able to cater for the extra visitors because the cafes and restaurants are full anyway.
“It’s great for businesses but we get people coming here who are not able to get something to eat because it’s so busy – there’s no easy fix.
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“For people who live here, it’s a problem. When the weather is like it was over the weekend, residents, like myself, often find it a struggle to park near their homes – even if they’ve only gone out for a short while.
“The situation at the car park near the beach is a regular occurrence. The spaces are clearly marked as bus spaces and people should not be parking there.
“A few of them were campervans which take up a lot of room across the town at peak times, especially near the prom.
“We’re always looking at ways to improve the situation but there’s no easy answer.
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“We’re waiting for a consultation on Aire sites (sites specifically designated for motorhomes and campervans to park overnight) like they have in France.
“That should come out at the end of the summer and we’re hoping Barmouth will be involved in a trial if it goes ahead.
“That should remove a few campervans and create some more space but there’s not much that can be done.”
A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: “Car parking spaces in Gwynedd Council-run car parks are clearly marked and we would urge motorists to check they have parked correctly before leaving their vehicles.
“This allows for the safe passage of vehicles and prevents traffic flow problems not only in the car parks themselves but also in adjoining streets.
“When there is clear evidence that cars have been parked in contravention to the regulations, our parking enforcement officers will issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).
“Anyone who believes they have been unfairly issued a parking ticket can lodge an appeal by following the advice on their ticket.
“All appeals are thoroughly assessed on their merits and consideration given to the individual circumstances.”
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