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Refund for motorists who paid during free parking period

Medway parking machines DO acccept 5ps
Medway parking machines DO acccept 5ps

Motorists who have paid for parking will be refunded after the Medway Messenger pointed out that signs showing there was no charge were too small.

Medway Council relaxed the parking charges in car parks across the Towns in the run up to Christmas to help trade.

From Monday the council-run car parks are free to anyone from 10am every day but several drivers complained the signs informing people parking was free, were just too small to notice.

One woman who visited Rochester High Street this week, didn't even notice the sign had been put up and forgot it was free parking and went and purchased a ticket.

The woman, 39, said: "I knew about the free parking, as I'd read about it on the council's website, but it had slipped my mind.

"I paid for a ticket and then a couple who were also parking told me I didn't have to pay.

"I felt cheated and looked to see if there were any signs up to say there was free parking and there was this tiny little sign under the car park sign, nothing on the machines.

"I was very cross at the time, but I'm glad the Medway Messenger showed the council how small the sign was and they have agreed to give people's money back.

"I will certainly be going to get my £1 back."

Other motorists have also complained by saying either the signs are too small or they are not near enough to the ticket machines.

James McGraine complained about the Longley Road car park in Rainham.

He said: "One sign's 10ft up a post and the other one's behind the machine. People are constantly putting their money in - I'm furious."

The Medway Messenger showed a picture taken in Rochester on Tuesday (Dec 20) of the small sign put up in the Cathedral car park behind Rochester High Street and officials agreed it was hard for people to notice.

The council is also going to send staff out to change the signs and want to hear from anyone who thinks signs are too small or in the wrong place to contact the parking department.

A Medway Council spokesman said: "The signs were put in place to let people know that the council is providing free parking on specific days to help local businesses in the run up to Christmas.

"We accept that some may be hard to see and we would urge anyone who has paid for a ticket after 10am on a free parking day to hand it into the Civic Centre parking reception in Strood or contact us on 332266 and we shall refund them.

"We are sending staff out to change the signs that are difficult to see and would urge anyone that feels this should happen at a Medway car park they have used to call us on the same number so that we can do this as quickly as possible."

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