Lib Dem councillors have attacked the introduction of parking restrictions at a popular shopping area, claiming they are not needed.

Vehicles are now subject to a four-hour limit on how long they can stay at Clifton Moor Retail Park.

Unlike other out-of-town shopping areas in York there is no indication that the time limit can be extended for those taking their time over their shopping.

Local councillors Darryl Smalley and Derek Wann claim that similar signs have led to confusion elsewhere as to whether the four hours is in a single block or in a 24-hour period.

Cllr Derek Wann said: “We're calling on the owners of Clifton Moor Car Park to reconsider the introduction of this scheme, which seems to be a solution to a problem that simply doesn't exist.”

He said the car park was never full and that the limit would particularly affect those who needed longer to shop such as the vulnerable and elderly.

“During the cost-of-living crisis, with many families struggling this year, residents being hit by an unfair parking fine really would be a nightmare before Christmas,” he said.

Cllr Smalley said: “We were really disappointed to see these parking restrictions, which affect one of York's key shopping destinations, being put into place just before the busy Christmas and Boxing Day period.

"The first we knew of the parking restrictions was residents getting in touch, concerned at the ambiguity of the new rules. Whilst boards state that there is a four-hour limit on parking, enforced through cameras, it is not clear whether that is four hours in one block, a total of four hours in a twenty-four-hour period, or whether it is permitted to leave and come back later in the day.”

The signs say that UK Parking Administration Ltd runs the parking scheme and that those who stay over the four-hour limit will be fined £100. It also warns that automatic numberplate recognition cameras are in place, and that the four-hour limit is in force 24 hours a day.

Other car parks at shopping centres on the outskirts of York also have parking restrictions in place.

Monks Cross Shopping Centre has a four-hour free parking limit, as does nearby Vangarde Park on non-match days but both can be extended by shoppers if necessary. Other car parks in the area have their own free parking limit.

The York Designer Outlet on the south side of the city has free parking without limit.

Clifton Moor Retail Park has a Tesco superstore as well as a wide range of other stores.

It is separate from adjacent Clifton Moor Leisure Centre where Vue Cinema says it has free parking but doesn't indicate if that if it is time limited.