Kettering shoppers paid £1,700 to park last year... on free Bank Holidays

Kettering Council's Wadcroft car park NNL-140403-123140001
Kettering Council's Wadcroft car park NNL-140403-123140001

Shoppers in Kettering spent more than £1,700 to park in council-owned car parks last year on days where there was no charge.

Parking in any of the car parks on a Bank Holiday is free, but a Freedom of Information request has revealed the authority’s parking income on each day.

Most of the £1,710.10 was collected on December 27 (£1,308.60) – last year’s Christmas bank holiday substitute day.

Some social media users complained that they were unsure as to whether they had to pay to park on December 27 so decided to pay just in case.

A Kettering Council spokesman said signage was clear, but workers will now ‘bag’ the machines on Bank Holidays in future.

The spokesman said: “All machines have clear signage on them saying when charges apply.

“We have taken the decision in recent times to put a bag on machines if it is a day which is usually charged but the council has subsequently made free.

“The experience of this Christmas, when people paid on Bank Holidays when they did not need to, has led us to decide to bag the machines on Bank Holidays as well.

“Excess charge income is used in the same way as ordinary car park income.”

The spokesman added that they would not be issuing refunds to anyone who paid to park on a Bank Holiday and that many of the smaller amounts received came from users who paid by phone.

The full breakdown is as follows:

January 1 (New Year’s Day): £89.90

March 25 (Good Friday): £0

March 28 (Easter Monday): £5.50

May 2 (May Bank Holiday): £3

May 30 (Spring Bank Holiday): £66

August 29 (August Bank Holiday): £0

December 25 (Christmas Day): £7

December 26 (Boxing Day): £230.10

December 27 (Bank Holiday): £1,308.60

A similar Freedom of Information request was made to Corby Council but it said it did not hold the relevant information.

Parking in Wellingborough and Rushden is free all year round.