Following a complaint from a member of the public about being fined for parking in a car park run by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council (BDBC), I decided to investigate.
Although the signage of the council car parks say it is free on public holidays, it appears BDBC only consider Boxing day to be a public holiday when it falls on a weekday. If it falls on a weekend, it is a normal working day and parking charges apply. Boxing day in 2020 fell on a Saturday, so BDBC parking enforcement officers were out doing their duty. Under normal circumstances, the town would have been buzzing with shoppers hitting the boxing day sales in the Top of Town and Festival Place. There would have been hundreds of unsuspecting shoppers who would have fallen foul of the councils misdirection on parking policy. Basingstoke council insist that the public holiday falls on the Monday, which is correctly identified as a bank holiday. Boxing day is a public holiday by tradition and by tradition it falls on the 26th December every year regardless of weekends.
This is the sort of behaviour that gives our town centre a bad name, if our high streets are to survive, post Covid, Basingstoke Council must actively encourage people to come into Basingstoke. Overzealous car parking enforcement will only force people online or out of town
These are the number of fines (Parking Charge Notices) issued by other councils in Hampshire. All obtained by freedom of information requests by Hampshire Independents.
|East Hants District Council||ZERO|
|Hart District Council||ZERO|
|Havant Borough Council||ZERO|
|Gosport Borough Council||ZERO|
|Test Valley Borough Council||ZERO|
|Eastleigh Borough Council||ZERO|
|Fareham Borough Council||ZERO|
|Rushmoor Borough Council||ZERO|
|New Forest District Council||ZERO|
|Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council||30|
You can clearly see the wording on the sign states no charges on public holidays.