A visitor to Aldershot who was fined for parking in a space that converts to a taxi rank at night has criticised “misleading” signs.

Mark Leedale, from Farnham, parked in a space opposite The Palace in Station Road on the evening of May 3, on his way to watch Aldershot Town FC.

Mr Leedale said he arrived at 6.45pm and followed the signs on the meter explaining that a ticket was required until 7pm.

However, he claimed that he did not see signs on a lamp-post above the meter explaining that the parking bays operate as a taxi rank between 8pm and 8am.

He received a penalty notice and, although he has since paid the £35 fine, he argued that Rushmoor Borough Council (RBC) needed to make the rules clearer.

“I really like RBC as a council, but they just do not get it,” Mr Leedale said. “I paid because I read the meter and realised I would need to pay until 7pm.

“Their response was that I was in contravention because I needed to read the taxi rank signs on the posts by the pavement.

“I think its misleading, but they simply refer to the parking regulations.

“All I ask for is a plain English version on the meter, the point of payment, which tells the honest punter they cannot park there after 8pm as it’s a taxi rank.

“If I had read that, I would have gone somewhere else. Are we really expected to observe several signs and be misled by the meter? It is killing the town.”

RBC’s parking manager, Kirsty Hosey, said: “We are sorry to hear that Mr Leedale felt he unfairly received a ticket.

“We have looked at this closely and considered his appeal, and decided we were correct in issuing a ticket.

“This is a dual bay, which means it is pay and display between 8am to 7pm and a taxi bay from 8pm to 8am.

“Both the signage and road markings for this are fully compliant with legislation and it remains the driver’s responsibility to make sure they check all signage before leaving their vehicle.

“From 8pm, the bay is for the sole use of taxis and the time plate which sets out both restrictions is clearly displayed at this location.

“There is also a yellow line within the parking bay, which also alerts drivers to the taxi bay restriction.

“Mr Leedale parked close to the signs but confirmed he did not read the taxi bay signage and left his vehicle parked within the bay after 8pm, when the penalty was issued.”