As a word of warning to your readers. I attended The CentreStage Finals at the 02 Academy for young Leeds musicians.
This was a battle of the bands for the prize to play at the Leeds and Reading Festivals. It is also a fund-raising event for Martin House Hospice and it appears raised at least £25,000 for this worthy cause.
I normally street park at the other side of the city which is free at night and I spend about £5 per week during the daytime/weekends on parking.
In this case I drove my son and his equipment to the venue. I spotted the Civic Hall car park D and thought it a convenient location to park.
There is a meter at the entrance on Portland Crescent, I could have actually parked on the road for free. However the ‘sensible’ thing seemed to be to drive through the car park and park at the Cookridge Street side. There are no signs or anything on this side but an exit out of it near to the 02.
On return I and plenty of others had been ticketed for £25 each. I made my way to the entrance, trying to avoid the tree stump that prevents you reading the instructions from a car and saw indeed the last line in small print said ‘after 5.30pm £2’. Which most people would not grumble about paying if they knew.
It appears this is one of the ‘honey/money traps’ that are designed to pay for the attendants on evenings. They are typically in confusing areas with poor signage and crawled all over by ‘gleeful’ attendants each night after everyone has gone about their business.
I thought only private sector companies practised extortion, however it appears not and I don’t expect any improvement of signage etc for this money spinner.
I would, however, have preferred to pay the money to Martin House.
I am disciplined and will not visit Leeds for five weeks until I have my money back. Perhaps some of the money they extort could be used to fix the horrendous potholes and remove the tree stump as well as putting up some proper signs.
I, for one, would have no qualms about suing the council for damage to my car in the unlikely event I ever used it again and recommend others to do the same.
D Goodman, by email