Constituents have been here before. Retailers targeting motorists with fines.
Three years ago I fought a long and hard campaign with the National Motorists Action Group against what I and residents thought were very unfair practices by the owners of Eastgate Retail Park. We won.
Now it is the Arndale owners. The Council had a covenant on the Arndale car park that for the first 25 years of the lease (which was granted in 1988) the Arndale owners:
- Can’t charge for parking up to 3 hours
- Will use best endeavours not to charge for parking over 3 hours (and before introducing charging will try other methods to ensure usage of the par park for short stay parking).
It's greed in my view. It's big car park that has been free for 28 years.
Today I received a letter from a constituent yesterday received a parking fine from UKPC for £100 (reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days) for exceeding the new parking limit on Accrington Arndale Centre.
"I understand that the centre wishes to ensure genuine shoppers are encouraged and able to park and visit the centre but this system is appalling and has resulted in a genuine customer incurring a large fine. This will only ensure that I do not visit the town centre in future. I am sure that a fairer system could be implemented? Maybe shops could verify parking for customers?"I have written to the owners of the Arndale to justify their decision to employ a car parking management company.