Ouch! Angry owner is left to pick up the bill

Ripped apart: Mr Foster's damaged car with the tape-bound pole at Stanhope Hall.
Ripped apart: Mr Foster's damaged car with the tape-bound pole at Stanhope Hall.

A retired Horncastle businessman has issued a warning to other car owners after an incident in a town car park left him with a repair bill for hundreds of pounds.

Peter Foster says he ran over a short, steel pole in the car park at Stanhope Hall.

He adds the pole ripped a huge gash in the bodywork of his car.

Mr Foster says he spoke to official at Stanhope Hall but was told they were not responsible for the damage and a sign clearly indicates vehicle owners park their at their own risk.

Mr Foster admits that after taking legal advice, he will pay for the damage to the car himself.

He told the News: “There is a short steel pole, about 20ins sticking out of the edge of one of their car park bays that is a danger to all.

“In the afternoon gloom just before Christmas, I ripped the side of my car open as I manoeuvred in between two parked cars.

“It (the pole) has dirty yellow tape on it and is below the driver’s eye line and is placed four feet into the parking bay on one of the white lines.

“The Stanhope Hall claim that it is not their problem as the parking there is at the driver’s own risk, despite the fact that it is a dangerous object to all and sundry.

“They deny liability and all responsibility for it.

“I have checked the legal position and it appears that they can get away with this because of the sign and that it was a car that was damaged and not a person.

“It is only if a person is hurt that the law says ‘at your own risk’ does not apply.”

Mr Foster says he is speaking out to warn other users of the car park.

He added: “Having such a dangerous object in a public area is obviously stupid and it should be pointed out to the public to stop anyone else having the same accident.

“I was told that the pole was put there to stop anyone parking over an access point to an electricity cable but if this is the case then why not put a proper sized warning pole up or even close off that particular bay?

“As well as showing the disregard the Stanhope Hall has for the local citizens, I have been told that this get out clause is often used for vehicle damage even though the fine for personal damage would be crippling.

“It may be legal but plainly not right and people should be warned.”

Town and county councillor Bill Aron, who is chairman of the Stanhope Hall trustees, said: “The pole was set into the car park many years ago, long before we (Trustees) took it over to warn of a high voltage electricity cable cover which runs along side the warning pole

“The pole has black and yellow hazard warning tape at the top section and is set in the white demarcation line of a car parking space.

“Up to now, we have not been able to get a definitive answer as to how better to warn drivers or to protect the cover but we are hoping we will have a scheme in the new year.”