Shopper is left ‘parking’ mad after £161 fine
A pensioner from Cambuslang was hit with a fine for £161.55 after parking in a car park on an “event day” despite no event taking place.
Anne Shields of Greenlees Gardens, went to do her shopping at the Forge Retail Park from 3.58pm to 7.27pm on December 10,
But 63-year-old Anne was stunned when she received a letter from the company, Smart Parking, who fined her £90 for overstaying in the car park by an hour and 31 minutes.
Anne is adamant shoppers are permitted a stay for four hours, although signs at the car park state this is only two hours when there is an event happening at the Commonwealth Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome or at Celtic Park.
But the Reformer can reveal that no match or event took place that evening as Celtic FC were playing away from home and a spokesman for Glasgow Life confirmed “it was normal operations at the Glasgow Emirates Arena”.
Anne was given the chance to reduce the fine to £45 if she paid it within two weeks but she appealed the decision.
But one month later, she received another letter that stated she must now pay £ 160 because the fine payment had risen.
The document “put the fear of death,” into her and she paid the fine straight away.
Anne is still shaken by the ordeal which added to an unfortunate few months after her mother passed away on October 14 and her house had been damaged by Storm Gertrude in January.
She said: “I parked there on December 10 and went to do some shopping at Marks and Spencers and Tesco.
“It gives you four hours free parking and I could see that in bold writing on the sign. I wasn’t in there for four hours.
“In the small piece of writing at the bottom of the sign it says that you only have two hours free parking on matchdays or event days.
“On December 23 I received a letter telling me to pay the £90 but I wrote to them on Boxing Day to appeal it.
“After a month I then got a letter back from a debt collection company asking me to pay £160.
“It put the fear of death into me because I haven’t ever had anything like this before so I paid it.
“For a pensioner £ 160 is a lot of money. I’ve had a horrendous Christmas with this fine and my mother passing away in October.
“I think the whole thing is ridiculous. The writing is so small and it was not well lit so I couldn’t see what it read.
“I feel so annoyed because so many people are unaware of this.”
A spokeswoman for Smart Parking denied they received any appeal from Anne and claimed the signs had actually been changed four days after her visit to the Forge
She added: “As Smart Parking did not receive an appeal from Mrs Shields the parking charge notice remained outstanding until payment was received. There are 73 signs at Forge Retail Park clearly stating the terms and conditions on-site.
“Smart Parking abides by the British Parking Association Code of Conduct, and we operate a clear and fair appeals procedure. We would encourage any motorist to appeal if they feel there are genuine mitigating circumstances in their case.”
Parking mad Anne Shields stands with her parking fine that cost her over £161
Sign The parking signs at the Forge Retail Park are said to have been changed four days after the incident