Pay by the horu? Proof reading blunder in St Albans and Harpenden car parks

Harpenden parking sign

Harpenden parking sign - Credit: Archant

One ‘horu’ of parking in certain St Albans and Harpenden car parks will set you back just over a pound - but what exactly is a ‘horu’?

St Albans parking sign

St Albans parking sign - Credit: Archant

That is not the Herts Advertiser’s typo - it is all over the parking meters in London Road car park, St Albans, and Harpenden’s Bowers Way.

The blurb on the meter reads that 60p will buy visitors a space for 30 minutes, one ‘horu’ is £1.20 and for a princely £2.70 you can enjoy a two-hour stay.

When it comes to spelling, everyone occasionally makes mistakes but the feeling among select St Albans’ residents is that the blunder is a bit shoddy.

Last time we checked ‘horu’ was not a unit of time, so it is assumed to mean ‘hour’.


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And whoever spelled it incorrectly, did manage to spell ‘hours’ properly on the rest of the parking meter wording.

It has even been suggested by one resident that maybe on a technicality, the spelling mistake could exempt motorists from having to pay.

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As @HamishMThompson tweeted: “I think you’re missing the golden opportunity here. One horu is the Vulcan for ‘forever’.”

Other irritated parkers noticed the embarrassing error and took to Twitter with their concerns.

Penny Carr, @BeingMrsC, wrote: “So someone typed them up in the first place, people printed them and then people put them up. No one noticed or cared.”

@MattBigg graciously replied:“People make mistakes. However, a major issue that someone has not amended and replaced it”.

Penny went on: “Seriously – how can no one have picked this up? Basic proof reading!”

The district council-owned car parks are run by NCP. A spokeswoman said: “Many apologies for missing that. New machines were installed in February and this was missed by our labelling staff and engineers.

“It’s no excuse but it’s a little piece of paper and I think it’s one of those situations where you almost can’t see for looking.”

She added: “I’m going to make everyone involved do an annual spelling bee! A full spelling check will be carried out on those machines and they will be changed in the next few days.

“Our staff do check the machines every day but they just missed that typo. They’re not really looking for spelling when they check the machines.”

If you spot a newsworthy typo around the area, please email us at hertsad@archant.co.uk.

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