Shoppers are threatening to boycott an out-of-town shopping centre in the Fens after a parking clampdown.
The retail park is on Cromwell Road, Wisbech, and its not just the three-hour free parking restriction that is causing an uproar.
“Seems like it’s just sprung up out of nowhere,” says one disgruntled shopper. “Even the workers knew nothing about.
“A little lad works in one of the shops had his moped ticketed 3 times.”
The retail park was built in 2014 and comprises nine retail warehousing units and a drive-thru Costa Coffee pod. It has space for 371 cars.
Many complaints are from shoppers who say their cars are being photographed and fines issued even if they stay within the 3-hour limit but have maybe parked slightly outside a parking space.
“There are car-parking spaces near B&M/Shoezone that are now grey, with no white lines,” said another.
“If you park in these spaces, it is a £60 fine. You do not get a ticket on your windscreen; a Hi-Viz person takes a pic of your car in this space, and it’s done automatically.
“They are also issuing fines to disabled drivers who park in spaces that are not properly lined. There is no signage, apart from the main info boards that tell you to park within white-lined spaces. It’s a ‘legal scam’”.
Another shopper said: “I won’t be shopping or taking any stuff to the charity shops anymore; it’s a disgusting way to treat people. It is not as if the car park is ever full.”
Another comment to a local Facebook group said: “My husband parked in the grey area and got a fine through; it stated he hadn’t parked within the lines but there were no lines there! He is appealing the fine.”
Another motorist said: “I witnessed that damn so-called parking twit in Cromwell Retail Park….confronting two elderly ladies about their parking I felt so sorry for them…. he was intimidating them with everyone watching….
“I just had to go over to him and say I bet your proud of your job boy.”
One woman said: “I asked him on Saturday why he was taking photos. The cars parked in the area opposite the hospice shop were parked in unmarked bays. Other cars were parked (just) out of their bays.
“So, it seems you have to be central in your bay and don’t encroach a fraction over the line. He walked off when I asked where all the prominent signs were.”
Another disgruntled shopper said: “I don’t know why they even done this.
“I’ve never seen this car park full it’s just more money to a scrupulous overzealous company and I for one won’t be using the retail park anymore and I know I am not the only one.
“The only way to hurt these companies is to not allow them a chance to get your money so won’t be going there again that’s for sure.”
UK Parking Control Ltd manage the site.
On their website they say: “With over 500 retail sites, we have the knowledge and experience to help you uncover your retail site’s potential and provide you with data on dwell times and capacity analysis.
“Landlords and tenants have the right to reserve parking facilities for legitimate users – whether residents, staff, or customers – and to charge people who unfairly take advantage of those facilities.
“At UK Parking Control Ltd we’re in the business of helping the owners and occupiers of private land to protect their property from abusive parking.”
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