Car park cameras that operate ‘without permission’ are causing controversy.
According to a Wirral Council spokesperson, a parking park in Wirral where disabled motorists have been incurring penalties despite showing their Blue Badges is operating without planning authority.
Since Smart Parking Ltd took over the car park at Cherry Tree shopping mall in Liscard in August, dozens of locals have resorted to social media to express their dissatisfaction.
Smart Parking Ltd has implemented a new payment system that requires all vehicles to register so that when their number plate is scanned, it can be determined whether they have paid for their parking period.
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This includes individuals with blue badges, however others have criticized the way this information is shown, claiming that fines are “distributed like confetti.”
Smart Parking Cherry Tree Centre, a local Facebook group, was formed and now has over 700 members, with volunteers assisting people in fighting the charges.
Cherry Tree Centre later apologized to customers who had been inconvenienced and promised that reimbursements would be issued to those who turned in proof of their blue credentials.
Janette Williamson, a local councillor and Wirral Council leader, said she has been in contact with the operators to find a solution and ensure “no more heavy-handed fines in the future.”
A number of steps were agreed upon at a discussion with colleague ward councillor Daisy Kenny and a representative from the operators.
These include the operator having two personnel on site to register blue badge holders, an agreement that “any unjust fines to disabled Blue Badge holders would be repaid when appealed,” and an update to the main sign to clarify the procedure for registering parking.
The operator does not have planning approval for the cameras and signs they are employing to control the car park, according to members of the Smart Parking Cherry Tree Centre group, who submitted a Freedom of Information request to Wirral Council last month.
Wirral Council stated that the ANPR cameras and advertising signage require planning approval, but that no application for the parking park has been submitted or granted.
The council is unable to respond at this time. “The summary has come to an end.”