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Long-stay drivers could be 'fined'

Fed-up parish councillors could bring in a private firm to manage parking in Market Place. (2451610)
Fed-up parish councillors could bring in a private firm to manage parking in Market Place. (2451610)

Fed-up Donington parish councillors are on the brink of handing over management of their Market Place parking bays to a private company.

The council has made repeated requests to businesses to stop 'blocking' the spaces by parking there all day or for hours on end.

But those pleas have fallen on deaf ears so the parish council has decided to invite companies to look at taking charge of the spaces.

It means drivers staying longer than an agreed time limit could be 'fined' for the first time.

Currently parking is free for two hours.

At Thursday's meeting, councillors discussed upping the time-limit to three or even four hours.

Members said increasing the time would help those with hair or nail appointments, as well as those enjoying a meal out, but no firm decision was made.

There was no mention of a potential introduction of a parking fee - or what it might cost - although it was said a company would take the income from any penalty charges.

Last month resident Peter Fleming told the parish council that the shops were "killing their own trade" by hogging the spaces.

Coun Lizzie Almond offered to come up with options to solve the problem, and at Thursday's meeting she explained that parking management companies will do free site assessments.

Council chairman Arthur Baldwin feared a company "might come in heavy-handed and we will upset businesses in the village".

But Coun Phil Lovell told him: "We are going back on what we said. For weeks and weeks we have said there's a problem and now we are saying there's not one."

The main concern is that "over-stayers" are blocking the spaces.

Coun Almond said everyone is ignoring the current time limit on the car park.

She said: "The times I go up to the village and you can't park anywhere ... if it needs a heavy hand it needs a heavy hand."

Members agreed to invite parking management companies to speak to the council.

What do you think? Email our editor jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk

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