SIGNS at car parks across the Vale of White Horse will be changed following complaints that they are confusing and left people paying too much.

The district council put up signs at its car parks at the beginning of the month after introducing free parking from 4pm.

However, motorists complained to the council claiming the signs did not clearly state the new pricing structure.

The council has now put up temporary stickers highlighting the new regulations.

But Gary Cooper, who owns Fabulous Flowers, in Bridge Street, Abingdon, said: “I was very disappointed with the district council because for two weeks I was paying more than I should. When these changes came in we weren’t told about it.

“And by looking at the signs, you wouldn’t know. When I looked at all the cars parked near mine they had all overpaid too.”

The new charges are in force between 8am and 4pm, instead of 8am to 5pm. The signs stated the times but drivers argued they should explicitly state there was a free extra hour.

To subsidise the free hour, the council hiked fees at its car parks in Abingdon, Wantage and Faringdon by 20p for medium stays (up to three hours) and 50p for longer stays.

Medium-stay charges are now £1.20 in Abingdon, £1 in Wantage, and 80p in Faringdon. Charges for more than three hours in Abingdon and Wantage start at £3.10 and £2.10 in Faringdon.

Steve King, who owns properties in Abingdon, campaigned against the higher fees and submitted a 115-signature petition.

He said: “The trade-off for these higher fees was supposed to be the hour’s free parking, but I couldn’t even see it advertised.”

District council spokesman Gavin Walton said: “The signs used in the Vale’s car parks specifically state that the operational hours for pay and display are between 8am and 4pm Monday to Saturday. Therefore we will not be offering any refunds.

“However, in the light of recent concerns... we have placed temporary stickers on every single pay and display machine highlighting the fact it is free after 4pm. We will be looking to permanently replace all signage later.”