A MOTORIST has hit out at plans to double the price of a ticket in one of Dorchester’s most popular car parks after her car was vandalised.
Lauren Browne returned to her vehicle in Fairfield car park one night before Christmas to find it ‘looked like an elephant had trampled it.’ She said she thought her car ‘would be safe’ in the West Dorset District Council-owned car park and is now appealing to the council to install CCTV.
Lauren, aged 28, has been using the car park since her car was damaged in a street near Dorchester South train station.
But now she fears doubling the price of an all-day parking ticket at Fairfield from £2 to £4 will lead more people to park in residential areas, causing more problems.
Lauren said: “If the council is going to double the price the least they can do is install some CCTV. Charging £4 a day is going to push people to park in the residential areas which will lead to more vandalism. But apparently you risk that even when you pay to park in a council car park.
“The council will be making enough money from raising the price- surely they can afford some CCTV? I’ve got to pay for the damage to my car.
“And incidents like this are just pushing up insurance and premiums for everyone.”
As reported in the Echo, the council will make an extra £200,000 from the price hike but has confirmed it ‘has no plans’ to install CCTV.
Leader of West Dorset District Council, Robert Gould said: “While I sympathise with anyone who has had their car damaged or vandalised, there are no plans for the district council to install CCTV in Dorchester’s Fairfield car park next year.
“The council is however committed to exploring the use of new technologies in its car parks.
“This includes trialling a barrier-less pay-on-exit system which uses camera technology in a number of our car parks to help make it easier to pay for parking and encourage people to stay for longer in the district’s town centres.”
Councillors agreed earlier this month to raise the price of an all-day ticket at Fairfield to match the tariff at Top O’Town.
The changes, which come in to force in April, will also mean a £2.60 charge for three hours’ parking where there is currently none.
Ms Browne added: ““All I want to do is come to work and go home again. Without CCTV to catch them, whoever did this to my car is just getting away with it. It’s not much to ask for when they’re making so much from putting the price up.”
Inspector Steve Marsh, pictured, of Dorchester Police confirmed that the incident had been reported to police and appealed for anyone with information to contact the county town police station on 101.
He said: “We were contacted about a case of criminal damage to a vehicle.
“I understand the victim was upset because it was the second time it had happened to them.”