Shop­per is left ‘park­ing’ mad af­ter £161 fine

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Mur­ray Spooner

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

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