Plug-in point penalties peeve motorists who are zapped with fines in Royston
PUBLISHED: 17:02 31 December 2014 | UPDATED: 09:28 02 January 2015
Motorists zapped with a parking fine after being caught out at electric charging points in Royston town centre have called for clearer signs to stop others falling foul of the plug-in penalty.
There have been 22 parking tickets issued since November 17 because of improper use of the charging bays in the Civic Centre car park in St James Way.
But there are no markings on the ground to warn drivers the spaces are for electric cars only, and signs which have been put up are too small to read, say critics.
Rosie Cowsley, one of those who was issued with a penalty notice, said: “I’ve never seen an electric car charging there. It looks like ordinary parking spaces.
“It seems to me that a lot of people are getting stung by it. I’m a bit cross. I’m not the only one feeling quite aggrieved by it.”
Rosie’s husband owns an electric car, but can’t charge his vehicle in the car park unless he forks out around £150 for a bespoke lead – at the moment he can only charge at bays with a three-point pin plug.
Town councillor Rod Kennedy said: “The bays should be clearly marked, so there can be no confusion. I suggest wording such as: ‘For the use of electric vehicles while charging. No other vehicles permitted.’
“The sign also needs to be illuminated, there is a board above the new sign which could be used.”
North Herts District Council was granted central government funding in May for the charging points.
North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald said: “It is great news that charging bays have been introduced but they should be properly signed. I will take this up.”
Councillor Bill Davidson, who represents the Royston Meridian ward on the district council, said: “It’s being looked into, but it doesn’t happen in five minutes.”
The council says the current signs fully comply with legal requirements but the possibility of placing additional markings is being explored.