Dozens of motorists using municipality-owned parking lots in Kettering were fined after charges were reinstated today (August 9).
Parking in the North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) town center car parks has been free since March last year, to help key workers in the pandemic and increase traffic in the town center.
But the parking fee is now back in place and those who haven’t paid the Â£ 2 minimum for two hours will receive a nasty surprise when they get back in their car.
Signs warning motorists that charges had been reinstated were posted and parking meter covers were removed.
Niall Bacon, a resident of Kettering, said: “More should have been done to show the charges were restored, maybe a host to tell people.
“I read about it in the Northants Telegraph so I was aware of it. I think the lesson to be learned is that you can’t assume anything.”
The decision to charge again – with Kettering’s parking fees being by far the highest in northern Northamptonshire – came just days after NNC agreed to consider free parking for all north county town centers .
Visiting from London, Jenny Warren had used the car park before and was unaware that the car park was free.
She said: “We’ve been here before so obviously we had to pay so we paid today.”
Emelia Semineria was running an errand in town and her mother had told her that the parking was free.
She said: âI parked next to the meter and saw a man paying. My mom said it was free so I asked him and he said I had to pay.
“I’m glad I parked where I did, otherwise I would have just walked away.
“Everyone is going to be very bored [with the parking tickets]. “
Parking charges at NNC owned car parks in Kettering are priced at Â£ 2 for two hours, increasing by Â£ 1 per hour up to five hours – more than five hours are charged at a flat rate of Â£ 6. Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays and public holidays are free.