A MOTORIST has complained after being made to pay £25 for mistakenly paying for his parking on the wrong meter

Brian Lomas, 77, parked on George Street, in Bury town centre on a Bury Council car park. But he paid at the parking meter on an adjoining car park, owned by private company, Smart Parking.

After being charged and feeling the parking meters were not properly signposted, Brian has called on the council to put more signposting in the area, to make clear who owns certain parking spaces and avoid confusion.

Brian said: “I want to make sure others now know of this problem and don’t make the same mistake, because I can’t have been the only person that this has happened to.

“Until there is better signage this will go on and continue to happen until the council does something.

“After retiring I have obviously had a loss of income and don’t want to be paying fines like this and want to bring it to people’s attention.

“The council car park and the one next to it are indistinguishable and you would think that they were owned by the same people and it is disappointing and frustrating to have this happen.”

Bury Council officials have responded by saying the confusion had been caused by vandalism to the chain links separating the adjoining car parks, leading to motorists accidentally using the wrong meter.

The council has also contacted the owners of the private car park to see what can be done to avoid future fines.

A council spokesman said: “These problems arise from time to time because the council has a car park at George Street next to a private car park at Angouleme Way retail park.

“To reduce any confusion, we have added a second ticket machine on our land, and both machines - and our car park - are clearly signed Bury Council.

“There are also hooped barriers between our car park and theirs, with chain links in between, to make it clear that these are two different car parks.

“Unfortunately, sometimes these chains are stolen or vandalised, making it easier for people to walk between the car parks to whichever is the nearest machine.

“We have been in discussion with the owners of the private car park to see if they could improve signage on their side.

“If a driver feels they have been unfairly penalised, we would advise them to follow the appeals process.”