Free parking mystery at controversial Oulton Broad car park
PUBLISHED: 10:55 18 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:55 18 August 2018
A parking enforcement company insists one of its car parks has not become free to use - despite a nearby business telling customers otherwise.
Confusion is rife among motorists and shoppers after Marmaris, a Turkish restaurant within the Winelodge complex, proclaimed the controversial car park on Bridge Road in Oulton Broad to be free to use.
Widely referred to as the Winelodge Hotel car park, the facility has become a sore point in the town, with motorists regularly slapped with hefty fines for contentious infringements.
Despite the Winelodge Hotel no longer being open, the site is still privately owned by Winelodge Lowestoft Limited and monitored by National Parking Enforcement (NPE), who issue parking fines where necessary.
But last week the Marmaris restaurant posted on its Facebook page that parking had been made free and the pay and display machines would soon be removed.
The revelation was greeted with delight by several social media users, with Phoenix Gower commenting ‘great news for Marmaris’ and Heather Jane Cook adding “great news for all the businesses surrounding it” (the car park).
However, NPE said any assertions that the car park is now free are wide of the mark.
Jonathan Lecaille, the company’s managing director, said: “Parking on the site is not free. The machine is still in place and there are no plans to take it down.
“We are still monitoring the car park on behalf of the owner.”
But Yilmaz Kalayci, owner of the Marmaris restaurant, maintained that people have every right to use the site without purchasing a ticket.
“As it stands people can park here for free,” he said. “People have been getting ridiculous fines here for far too long.
“The parking enforcement company is supposed to have taken the machine down, but for some reason they have not done it yet and it is still here.”