DRIVERS have been warned over new pending fee of up to £19 in the Royal Borough under new ‘reservation’ rules.

The council has been using phone parking provider RingGo for the car parks it manages since 2020 and soon the new resident parking discount is set to be incorporated with the app from April.

However, residents have noticed recently new charges highlighted on their bank accounts of a ‘pre-authorisation’ reservation if they want to use the borough’s car parks.

This is comparable to pay-at-pump petrol stations where users have to pre-authorise the maximum fuel delivery amount. It is a temporary reserve on your account and will be a range from £1.30 in on street parking locations to £19 in car parks.

But this does not mean money is actually being collected until the session ends. Only the amount for the length of the parking session is where the reservation automatically clears as a pending transaction request, with the timings for that dependent on clearing times between the card issuers and banks.

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RingGo says this move, which came into force last month, is “intended to enhance the security of payments and limit fraud”.

Meanwhile, the council has said this is a national change by the phone parking provider responding to national rules.

Stuart Hayward said he parked at Alexandra Gardens in Windsor for £5.10, but a ‘pre-authorisation’ amount of £14 was placed on his bank account.

He managed to get the £14 back after two days but told the Local Democracy Reporting Service some people have waited until a week.

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Mr Hayward said: “I don’t have an issue with the pre-authorisation but not for that value.

“It should be for one or two hours. That is fine because most people wouldn’t spend five or six hours in the town centre unless they’re doing work in the town centre.

“If you’re going to town for Marks and Spencers or something, then you’re not going to take a whole day.”

He added: “To some people, £14 is a lot of money to have taken off if they need it for food or transport or something like that.

“If they have to wait a whole week for them to get their money back, then it becomes an issue for residents.”

RingGo and the council were contacted for further comment.