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Parking Eye’s contract at Whitlingham Country Park is to end early

PUBLISHED: 09:42 19 March 2015

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

Private company Parking Eye will no longer penalise visitors at a Norwich beauty spot after a crunch meeting to end its contract early.

Private company Parking Eye will no longer penalise visitors at a Norwich beauty spot after a crunch meeting to end its contract early.

The national company had been contracted to manage parking at Whitlingham Country Park since 2012 as a way to generate income for its maintenance.

But a catalogue of complaints were made about the firm’s policy when charging drivers for staying over the time they paid for.

Yesterday Whitlingham Charitable Trust agreed with Parking Eye to end the contract almost two years prematurely and are now asking other firms to bid for contact.

Martin Shaw, chairman of the trust, said: “At this stage the trust is very open to suggested solutions that will provide the park with the necessary income to keep it special though we will want to make sure that any proposals are fair to our valued visitors.”

It is denied that bad-feeling amongst the joggers and dog-walkers who use the broad prompted the change and the Broads Authority, who manage the area for the trust, have said visitor numbers have not been affected by the complaints.

But many have said they would not return to the park after being hit with a £60 ticket – which rises to £100 if not paid within 14 days.

It has been hinted that a preferable option for the trust is for South Norfolk Council to take over the car park’s management.

John Fuller, council leader, has previously described the park as a great resource, but said Parking Eye’s enforcement had discouraged users.

Mr Shaw said the park needed to make money to maintain the area.

He said: “The park is managed by a charitable trust and it does cost more than £200,000 each year to maintain it in the wonderful condition that 
our many visitors so obviously 
enjoy.

“Though we are very grateful for external grant funding, this currently contributes less than 5pc towards the park’s operating 
costs and it is therefore essential that any replacement car park 
management solution provides a sound financial contribution 
towards the running costs of the park.”

The decision will be made on who will take over the contract by July 17 and the new provider will be in operation by October 1.

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