Tuesday June 30th 2020
Unwitting motorists wasted more than £100,000 paying for parking in Edinburgh while charges had been suspended because of the Covid it has emerged.
The council stopped charging for on-street parking in the city on March 24, in a move to help key workers fulfil their roles.
But in the 13-week period before charges were reinstated on June 22, it has now emerged that £101,537.50 was spent on securing parking spaces through RingGo, a service that enables people to pay for parking online, through an app or by telephone.
The council says that the RingGo website, application and telephone service all “provided clear messages to customers confirming that parking charges were not in place across Edinburgh.” Also, all pay and display ticket machines across Edinburgh “displayed similar messages.”
During a meeting on Tuesday the council clarified that any person who paid for on-street parking during the period in which charges were suspended can claim a refund by emailing the council’s parking services team.
Conservative Transport Convener, Cllr Susan Webber, who has raised the issue of unnecessary parking charges at Tuesday’s meeting, said: “Only when asked about this has it become clear that over £100,000 has been ‘collected’ from parking revenues, despite charges being suspended until June 22.
“I am unsure of whether this income was even known about, and if so, given payments were suspended, what other steps were taken to reinforce the suspension of services?
“My constituents who brought this issue to my attention did not see these ‘clear messages’ hosted on the RingGo platform. When I asked if the revenue was with RingGo or within the Council, this was unknown.
“It is helpful to know where and how you can apply for a refund but with that I do have concerns that this will be a time consuming and costly exercise to administer. Either way I would hope the Convenor of Finance will be going through the accounts with a very fine-tooth comb given the vast financial challenges we face as a city.”
Transport and Environment Convener, Cllr Lesley Macinnes, said: “During the suspension of parking charges the RingGo website, app and telephone service all provided clear messages to customers confirming that charges were not in place across Edinburgh. There were also similar messages on pay and display ticket machines and all of the Council’s customer contact and social media channels.
Any person who spent money paying for on-street parking in Edinburgh between March 24 and June 22 this year is entitled to get their money back.
In order to claim a refund all motorists need to do is email the council’s parking services team. The team can be reached at email@example.com.Tweet Share on Facebook