New signage goes up in Island Green – Council Leader says he has had ‘cast iron guarantee’ fines for stays under 20 minutes will be reimbursed
Anyone who has been fined for staying in Island Green for under 20 minutes can contact Wrexham Council Leader Mark Pritchard, who has had a ‘cast iron guarantee’ that such fines will be reimbursed.
Wrexham.com joined the Council Leader Mark Pritchard yesterday in Island Green car park to look at the new signage. However there is only one new sign at the entrance to car park letting drivers known about the confirmation of the 20 minute free / grace period.
As we previously documented there has been little success with contacting car park operators Euro Carparks, however ‘Nuveen’ who own Island Green via their TH Real Estate brand have been more forthcoming.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras were installed in December at the entrance to the car park, and fines were started to be issued in April; with many getting tickets for very short stays / drop offs and collections of under 10 or 20 minutes.
This week has seen promised new signage erected, Cllr Pritchard said: “I’d like to thank Nuveen, who have put the sign up. It is clear stating that you’ve got 20 minutes waiting time.
“I am disappointed though, I want more signs around the site. It is good as you come in so you know you can do 20 minutes and that is good, but there needs to be more signage.
“I am disappointed that we haven’t resolved the issues around the DDA disability compliance that needs to be sorted.
“I did touch on last time we spoke with regards to central station here, I believe that when it was built there was a condition that there would be parking, a drop off parking facility for coaches, and the taxi ranks, built in.
“I am doing some research on that and waiting on some things to come back to me, and will wait until we get all the details before we run with it.
“There is the issue with regards to the column on which the ANPR camera is located in on. Again, I’m waiting for confirmation to see if they require planning permission for it. If they do require planning on it, they will have to go through the process,
“I am disappointed with the management who runs the car park, which is Euro Carparks, on behalf of Nuveen. I disappointed with them. I certainly if it was me, I wouldn’t work with them in partnership on anything. Because I don’t think they can be trusted.
“I don’t think they’re professional enough to deal with the public on day to day issues. I’ll continue to say it, that they are a faceless organisation, you can’t speak to them on the phone.
“You have to pay the payments through the banks, and if you don’t have a bank account, you can’t pay. I think we all know the law that you have to accept cash. So I think they discriminate there. We will check everything out, I won’t leave it alone. I’ll continue to drive it forward and hopefully we can come to an agreement on all the issues within Island Green.”
Quite a few people have commented about the council owning the carpark or controlling it in some way, however we have looked at various documents and it is clearly not council land. We asked Cllr Pritchard if there was any direct action that could be taken on the site or contractors without that ownership or control.
Cllr Pritchard said, “No, not with regards to the ownership of the site, the ownership in of the site was never in our ownership. It has nothing to do with us.
“But the impact that the issue of parking tickets to constituents, residents and people who are visiting Wrexham has a massive impact.
“So what I would say yes, we do have a duty, I think we have to show leadership, I think we have to challenge these corporate organisations who are not behaving themselves.”
With the station fronting on to the carpark and many people being ticketed for dropping off or waiting for passengers, we asked if Transport for Wales had been in touch about the issue.
Cllr Pritchard said, “No, nothing. I’ve had nothing back, I did ask for a meeting or at least a telephone conversation but I’ve had nothing back at this stage.”
We also noted that the £90 fines people have had for staying under 20 minutes have morphed in some cases to demands for £150. We have heard some have been overturned, and enquired if there was any formal update.
We were told” “I’ve had lots of correspondence off lots of people from within Wrexham and outside Wrexham.
“If you have the evidence of a fine of , and they send you that when they issue a fine, it should show if it was for being under 20 minutes. If it is and you pass it on to me, I will then pass it on to the company.
“I have been given a cast iron guarantee that if anybody has been fined, and they’ve been on the site for less than 20 minutes, an apology will be given and reimbursements will be paid.
“Just for accuracy, it’s for under 20 minutes, not anything over and above 20 minutes.”
As the Council Leader has opened up the invite in a manner that could melt his inbox, we are providing his publicly available email address for you to get in touch with him: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have evidence of fines issued for under 20 minutes, going off what has been said, then they could be revoked / reimbursed and even an apology given.
(Top pic – Leader of Wrexham Council Mark Pritchard finally locates the single sign in the rain)
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