Signs to end Talisman confusion for disabled drivers

The new Talisman Square car park in Kenilworth is now open.'MHLC-15-10-13 Talisman Oct52
The new Talisman Square car park in Kenilworth is now open.'MHLC-15-10-13 Talisman Oct52

New signs will warn disabled parkers are not exempt from charges after soaring complaints by confused drivers.

The temporary car park in Talisman Square has been the centre of frustration for blue badge holders since it opened last year as many did not realise they were subject to fees.

Claiming it is unclear that they must purchase a ticket, a number of shoppers have simply left their blue badge on display - only to find they have been hit with an £85 fine when they return to their car.

Warwick District Council owned car parks do not charge blue badge holders to park.

But a sign above the pay machine in the privately owned Talisman Square clearly states that no vehicles are exempt from the 60p to £1 charge.

One couple who were hit with a ticket after parking in a disabled spot said: “It is just unclear, the only place where it states the car park requires us to buy tickets is on the pay machine at the far end.

“These are very large and attractive disabled bays which enticed us in, but we did not see any signs which told us we must buy a ticket, so we assumed we didn’t have to.”

And after ongoing complaints over lack of clarity, on top of intervention from councillors, the car park will now display extra signage to tackle the problem.

A spokesperson for developers Discovery Properties said: “It is regrettable that some users of the car park failed to check the restrictions in place, which has resulted in tickets being issued.

“We do, however, acknowledge that some motorists have struggled to see the restrictions advertised, and to help users avoid further unnecessary sanctions we’ve arranged for the car park managers, to install additional signage close to the disabled bays.”

The car park is managed by Britannia Parking and signs should be in place by as early as Monday.

The KWN found around half of cars parked in disabled spaces at any one time did not have a valid ticket accompanying the displayed blue badge.

Zoe Court, town centre manager who has worked to resolve issues on behalf of residents, said she was pleased an agreement had been reached.

Cllr Ann Blacklock (Lib Dem, Abbey) welcomed the move after sympathising with affected residents.

“It is wonderful that these signs will be in place,” she said.

But she warned disabled drivers should always ensure they check restrictions for any off-street parking to be sure. Warwick District Council had no influence over the way the car park was run once permission had been granted, but any issues could be taken into consideration when members were discussing renewal of an application at a later date.