Shoppers driving family cars have been reassured they can still use Kettering Council-owned car parks - despite signs seemingly suggesting otherwise.
The authority has put signs up at the entrance of each of its car parks which read ‘vehicles must not exceed 1.5 tonnes (unless authorised)’.
A number of family cars and larger cars weigh more than 1.5 tonnes, or 1,500kg, but the council says they will still be able to park there.
A council spokesman said: “The limit is not new – it has been in place for as long as anyone can remember and is sufficiently old that, at the time it was written, no private cars would have weighed more than 1.5 tonnes.
“The limit remains in place because it is the means by which we can prevent lorries and caravans parking in the car park.
“If a vehicle can fit within a parking space, then it is fine to park in any of our car parks, even if you drive a large 4x4.
“We have produced new sign boards which make it clearer than it was.”
One shopper, who wished to remain anonymous, said the signs were misleading and would put shoppers off parking.
He said: “I drive a Land Rover and that weighs more than 1.5 tonnes, so the signs suggest I can’t park there.
“My son drives a Mazda and even that’s too big.
“They are losing customers in Kettering now [Rushden] Lakes has opened and this won’t help.
“It’s a ridiculous weight limit.”
The complainant added that a warden told him he could be given a ticket for parking there, but the council insists that anyone who can fit their car into a space won’t be fined.
The Northants Telegraph asked Kettering Council for further comment on the claim that the signs were confusing.
The spokesman said: “The signage, which is of course new and in a much clearer format than before, reflects the contents of the traffic order which applies to the car parks.
“If there is a wider sense that it is not clear (we have one complaint to date), then we may look at the wording again.
“We are not making judgements about what every car might weigh.”
Cars with a kerb weight of more than 1,500kg:
- Vauxhall Zafira (1,551kgs)
- 2l Peugeot 308 (1,522kgs)
- Audi A4 (1,660kgs)
- Land Rover Freelander (1,850kgs)
- Citroen C4 Picasso (1,511kgs)