ALTHOUGH the signs at the Cradle Bridge Retail Park in Trowbridge have not been changed, the car park operators have reassured drivers they will not be fined for parking without a ticket - as long as they don’t exceed the three-hour time limit.

It is understood that following hundreds of complaints about people not knowing they had to get a ticket during their stay, the company did away with this unpopular system.

And today, Smart Parking confirmed that shoppers will not receive a fine, if they stay there for less than three hours. 

A spokesman for Smart Parking said: "When Smart Parking took over the management of the car park at Cradlebridge Retail Park, it implemented a system which offered three hours’ free parking for each visitor.

"The system, which required motorists to input their vehicle registration details, was designed to help customers by providing them with a record of when they had entered the car park as well as the time that their free parking ended.

"Following ongoing discussions, the signage has now been updated to reflect the minor alterations recently made. We are happy to confirm that, following these changes, no motorists who have followed the terms and conditions have been issued with a Parking Charge Notice (PCN), regardless of whether they collected a ticket or not.

"Those motorists who have received a PCN, did so because they overstayed the three hour free period. No PCNs have been increased as a result of a motorist’s appeal, indeed, PCNs are frozen while the fully audited, BPA appeal process, is followed.

"In England and Wales, the final arbiter, should the motorist choose to utilise the service, is the independent appeals service POPLA. Smart Parking are members of the British Parking Association and strictly follows its guidelines.”