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Clearer signs at Whitlingham Park aim to stop car park confusion

PUBLISHED: 10:07 17 July 2014 | UPDATED: 10:07 17 July 2014

Whitlingham visitors centre and car park where some users have been issued penalty fines by Parking Eye who enforce parking restrictions. Photo: Steve Adams

Whitlingham visitors centre and car park where some users have been issued penalty fines by Parking Eye who enforce parking restrictions. Photo: Steve Adams

Confusion over parking at Whitlingham Country Park could end within a month as new clearer signs are planned for the beauty spot.

The plans for 24-hour charges have also been scrapped amid worries it would cause more upset to visitors.

Hundreds of people have been left perplexed after visiting the popular broad near Norwich and ending up with a £60 fine – or £100 if it is not paid within 14 days.

Parking Eye was hired by the Broads Authority, who manages the park for Whitlingham Charitable Trust, to catch visitors on CCTV staying over the time they paid for.

But in the last year the private firm made £90,000 from fines – while the Trust made £100,000, which they use to maintain the broad.

It was decided a crunch meeting this week between the Broads Authority and the private firm that there will be clearer signs depicting what happens if visitors overstay the time they have paid for or if machines are out of order.

The new signs, expected to be in place within a month, will make it explicit that people can pay the extra cash if they return late to their car. It is only if people leave the car park without paying that a fine will be sent.

It comes as double yellow lines will be painted along Whitlingham Lane, leading to the park, as well as adding a maximum stay of two hours and no return within an hour, after people living in the area grew angry at the unofficial overflow car park outside their homes.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said the measures will be in place by the end of the year.

“We’ve consulted with residents, the local councillor and parish councils about extending the parking restrictions on Whitlingham Lane,” he said.

“This came about after people living in the area expressed concerns about the impact cars parking along the road were having, particularly relating to road safety.”

• What do you think of the parking situation? Email rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk

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