PARKING attendants have been out in force to clamp down on illegal parking in Salisbury’s newly refurbished Market Place.

The former car park was pedestrianised last year as part of a multi-million-pound refurbishment.

But drivers have continued to park in the square in the evenings despite signs informing them the area is a no parking zone.

Signs near the former entrance to the car park state the area is “no parking at any time including blue badge holders”, but people have been ignoring these after dark.

At 7.30pm on Saturday three parking attendants turned up to issue tickets to 20 illegally parked cars.

A further 20 motorists dashed out of restaurants to move their vehicle just in time.

Steve Dauwalder, owner of Market Place restaurant La Mollina, who campaigned for the square to remain as a car park, said he was “disgusted” by the council’s behaviour and claims the signs are too high and not adequately illuminated.

He said: “While the wardens were there about 15 vehicles pulled in and almost every driver told the wardens they did not see the signs. “Little thought has gone into the placement of the signs and it looks very much like entrapment and a revenue-raiser above all else.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said both Salisbury City Council and Wiltshire Police had informed them there was frequent inappropriate parking in the Market Place and asked them to take enforcement action.

“It is now a pedestrianised area and a space the whole community can use. This is important as it will reduce the risk of the Market Place being damaged and ensure it is an area everyone in the city can enjoy.

“There are clear signs visible in the Market Place informing people of the parking restrictions. During the design phase various options were discussed for the signage. We feel there is the right mix between advising parkers and having a visually pleasing area.”

The council spokesman also confirmed the new toilets in the Market Place opened on Monday.