New parking restrictions 'will put off shoppers'
Last updated at 13:21, Friday, 13 May 2011
CONCERNED customers could shelve visits to a Whitehaven shopping area over the threat of £80 parking fines.
Shoppers with cars have only one hour to browse around Bridges Retail Park, which includes supermarket Lidl and a McDonald’s restaurant, before they face the threat of being hit with the fine.
Mother-of-two Joanna Kerrush, of Hillcrest Avenue, was sent a notice from Parking Eye, which monitors the site, after they claimed she had parked on the site for eight hours.
“I arrived just before 9am to buy shoes at Brantano and left just within the hour. I then returned to Brantano, on the same day at 5pm, to return some shoes which didn’t fit. The camera had obviously assumed I had been on the car park for eight hours. I subsequently appealed, explained the situation, but they said if I don’t pay by May 20 the fine will go up to £110.
“This is certainly going to discourage people from shopping,’’ she said. “I was thinking about elderly people who may be sent these letters and how distressing that would be for them.’’
As a mother with two young children, Joanna said the retail park takes her much longer than an hour to shop around. “Why would you risk shopping there if you could get a parking ticket?’’ she said. “Just trying on shoes with youngsters takes time. I and many others weren’t aware the McDonald’s car park was also included in that one hour.’’
Parking Eye told The Whitehaven News it had already looked at her case and her ticket would be cancelled. A spokesperson said the signs alerting shoppers to the time limit were clearly visible.
Another Whitehaven mother also received a fine after she parked near McDonald's, unaware the restaurant was included in the one-hour time restriction.
She said: “I parked on the retail park for less than an hour and then moved my car to park at McDonald’s where I was having my son’s birthday party with 16 of his friends.
“I moved the car because I knew feeding all those children would take more than an hour and I thought I was doing the right thing. I subsequently received a notice saying I had been on the park from 3.45pm to 6pm.
“I didn’t realised the whole site was only one hour’s parking. It will make me think twice about parking there again since it hardly leaves any time for shopping and taking the kids for food.
“I don’t know anyone who was aware you only had an hour at McDonald’s.’’
A spokesperson for Cumbria Trading Standards said: “If you are happy you haven’t breached any parking rules, then just sit tight.
“Write to the company and send evidence if you wish, however it is up to the company to provide evidence that you were there when they claim.’’
Anyone wanting further advice should contact Trading Standards consumer advice on 08454 040506.
A Parking Eye spokesman said: "Parking Eye was engaged by the landlord as the car park was suffering from lots of parking abuse, ie people parking within the car park, but not shopping within the stores.
"Mrs Kerrush has appealed her parking charge for reasons of being a genuine shopper, providing receipts for this, so we have duly cancelled the parking charge, as obviously the landlord does not wish to penalise genuine shoppers who inadvertently stay longer than the free parking period.
"Mrs Docherty has not contacted us or appealed the decision. The McDonald's car park is within the Bridge Retail Park, and the restrictions are clearly signposted on site. We have raised the issue of children’s parties with the car park owner and McDonald's.
The current car park restrictions are defined and agreed with the car park owner."
First published at 11:11, Thursday, 12 May 2011
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
another way to get rid of these tickets is what I did. on reciept of the first invoice I wrote back telling them I would not be paying this INVOICE as I did not request theirs services and that they had no legal right to issues such things. I also said that if I received further invoices I would be seeking legal action on the grounds of harassment. HEY PRESTO no more....they can not enforce these so do not pay them search the web you will find loads of cases like this that they cant enforce
DO NOT PAY THESE UNENFORCABLE INVOICES. Its basically a scam and the PPC (Private Parking Company) have no right to charge the crazy amount they are asking. A judge would deem this as a penalty and the PPC have no right to demand that. The judge would then throw it out (Main reason as to why PPC's don't do court). All they can legally pursue off you is loss of earnings. As this is a FREE carpark then the amount they can go for is Â£0.00 (yep zero, zilch). They can only legally pursue the driver of the car and as you are under NO obligation to give them this info then they are screwed. Ignore the standard threatograms that come through your letterbox and after 4-5 letters they will crawl back under the rock they came from. You may find you get a letter from CCCS Collect Debt Collectors regarding the invoice you got. Again just ignore as they have no legal powers for this either (my dog has more power than a DCA). So far I have helped over 20 people against Parking Eye and all my advice is IGNORE. Plus that is at least Â£1,000 that the PPC won't be getting from them 20 people alone. Stand strong and don't be bullied/scared out of YOUR money
View all 36 comments on this article