A NUMBER of exasperated drivers have received parking fines in Wimborne, despite official notices saying parking was free at the time.

Now Dorset Council has confirmed the town's free parking dates, and insists all parking penalties issued in error will be looked into if those ticketed go through the appeals process.

Initially notices from Wimborne Business Information District (BID) listed Saturday, December 14; Monday, December 16 through to Saturday December 21; Monday, December 23; Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Saturday, January 11 as free parking in town.

However, many drivers parking within these times have reported being ticketed.

Motorist Jo Skipp, commenting online after parking on Wednesday, this week, said: "Got a parking ticket on the car today despite this advert (which she took a photograph of) saying it is free.

"Am I missing something?"

Another resident said: "Unfortunately there has been a mix up with dates that were issued by the BID on this leaflet."

Wimborne Town Council stepped in, and after consultation with Dorset Council, confirmed the actual free parking days as Saturday, December 21; Sunday, December 22; Monday, December 23; Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve.

They said: "The town council has intervened given the confusion over free parking in the town over the Christmas period.

"We are pleased to say that after our consultation with Dorset Council, they have now kindly agreed specific free parking dates in the car parks on the attached notice.

"If you have received a parking fine (in one of the relevant car parks) due to following advice published elsewhere prior to this notice, please contact the town council on office@wimborne.gov.uk in the first instance.

"Dorset Council will consider waiving fines providing no other parking contraventions were relevant."

Meanwhile, a Dorset Council spokesman said: "If a ticket has been issued in error I would urge recipients to go through the appeals process.

"All tickets issued in error will be rescinded, that is the reason for the appeals procedure."

The updated free parking times apply to Wimborne car parks at King Street, Allenview Road, Hanham Road, Leigh Road, Park Lane, Westfield Close, Pye Corner, Old Road and Poole Road.