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15 November 2013, 11:51
Thousands of people who were given parking tickets near to Leicester Square are going to get a refund.
Westminster council has admitted some signs on Oxenden, Jermyn and Conduit Streets were too confusing.
It applies to parking signs erected from May 2011 at new dual use bays in the three locations.
The council says it is offering the refunds as a gesture of goodwill.
Cllr Nickie Aiken, Westminster City Council cabinet member for community protection, premises management and parking, said: "Dual use bays are all about maximising the space at the kerbside in the city to enable fair and easy parking for everyone.
"Demand for space in the city is great and Westminster seeks to maintain a balance between the needs of residents, businesses and visitors to the city in all our decisions regarding parking.
"However, we accept that the parking signs in these streets could have given rise to confusion among motorists and so we are making a one-off exception, it is the right thing to do. We have now also replaced signs as a result."
The signs instructed motorists that parking charges applied between 8:30am and 6:30pm, but implied that motorists could park for free from 6:30pm until 8:30am. However, during these times the dual use bays became dedicated taxi ranks.
Although this was clearly indicated by other parking restriction signs mounted on the same signposts, drivers would have had to check both in order to understand the restriction. It was this potential for confusion that led to the decision to refund.
Motorists whose contact details are known to Westminster City Council will be sent a form with instructions on how to apply for the refund. For those that are not known, an announcement will be placed on the council's website with information advising them how to apply.