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Bridgnorth council ends contract with car park firm

Bridgnorth | News | Published:

A Bridgnorth car park which has caused anger and controversy with visitors to a town will have its charging contract changed.

Severn Park car park in Bridgnorth has been run by Creative Parking Solutions but the town council activated the break clause in that contract and has now brought the agreement to an end.

Councillor David Cooper, the town's mayor, said: "The town council has reviewed the car park management arrangements for Severn Park and decided to change from the automatic number plate recognition system operated by Creative Car Parking to a pay and display system, with the car park monitored by Shropshire Council's enforcement officers.

"It will then be operated on a basis consistent with the way Shropshire Council public car parks are managed in Bridgnorth and elsewhere in Shropshire, and we feel that will be better for car park users."

He added: "At the moment we are not intending to change the cost of parking."

The news delighted Steve Robbins, chairman of Bridgnorth Chamber of Commerce, who said: "We have been pressing councillors to terminate the contract with the current company following numerous complaints from visitors to the town who were caught out by the system.

"While we are extremely happy that they have now agreed to do this, we do not know how much damage the system used on Severn Park has caused to our tourism industry. Many people have vowed never to return to the town having been unfairly charged by it."

The chamber of commerce was instrumental in helping one visitor get her money back last month following an incorrect charge triggered by the ANPR system.

Mr Robbins said: "The lady arrived at the car park and correctly paid for two hours' parking. She then realised there were no catering facilities at the park and drove out to get fish and chips, returning a few minutes later.

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"The ANPR system registered the vehicle as re-entering the car park."

He said: "However the lady did not buy another ticket as the one she had was still valid, and as a consequence an invoice was automatically generated.

"The invoices are made to look like a parking fine, and the lady already paid it before contacting us.

"We assisted her with legal advice and she wrote to us a few weeks ago thanking us as she had finally got the money refunded."

Creative Parking Solutions was unavailable for comment.

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