A Huddersfield shopper has been left angered after getting a car park fine at a retail outlet.
Linda, 59, said that she thinks it is ‘ridiculous’ and ‘very unfair’ that she was given the fine in the parking spot, which is used almost exclusively by those visiting the site’s four shops, Aldi, Marks and Spencers, Pets at Home and Home Bargains.
Linda, who lives in Sycamore Court, received the fine letter from Chorley-based ParkingEye at her home after accidentally overstaying the free car parking limit of two and a half hours by 20 minutes.
She said: “I think it’s really unfair because at the end of the day I was just giving the shops some business and just want to make other people aware of the issue.
“I didn’t realise that I had overstayed because you don’t get a ticket when entering and was shopping for not just my husband and I but our son, an elderly neighbour and my friend.
“It’s very difficult to get all the shopping done for several people in that time.”
Control over the car park at the popular retail park, which has 226 spaces, was given to ParkingEye by the retail park’s manager, CBRE, after it opened in 2008.
Linda said that she felt forced to pay the fine although she wanted to dispute it due to a lack of information from the company on how to appeal the decision.
She said: “I wanted to appeal but the letter said that if I didn’t pay within 14 days the fine would increase to £100.
“I tried to call ParkingEye but their entire telephone service is automated and the information on their website regarding appeals was unclear.
“I know that the carpark gets very busy but the time limit should at least be extended to three hours to help people who have a very large shop to do or are shopping for others or at least allow people who are going to stay over the limit to pay a normal parking rate like you would in a normal car park.
“But really I think that it should be free because at the end of the day the spaces have been built for the benefit of the shops, who are making a lot of money out of those who shop there.”
A spokeswoman for ParkingEye said: “Demand for ParkingEye’s services is driven by its clients, who want their car parks to be used in the way they are intended.
“The managing agent for the Gallagher car park limits the free parking period to 2.5 hours, helping to ensure that all customers have the opportunity to find a parking space.
“We understand that genuine mistakes are sometimes made, however, and operate an audited appeals process, encouraging people to appeal if they feel, as Ms Hughes appears to, that there are mitigating circumstances.
“An appeal, even if unsuccessful, does not increase the parking charge.”