Stock­port driv­ers want Peel Cen­tre car park firm axed

Stockport Times West - - FRONT PAGE - Alex Scapens

AN ON­LINE cam­paign has been launched to have a con­tro­ver­sial park­ing firm re­moved from a town cen­tre.

Some 2,000 peo­ple have signed an e-pe­ti­tion on web­site de­mand­ing Stock­port coun­cil get rid of the firm, which ad­min­is­ters park­ing charges and fines at the Peel Cen­tre shop­ping com­plex. Many peo­ple have com­plained about un­fair fines at the cen­tre, hav­ing been hit with a £100 bill be­cause ticket ma­chines are ei­ther bro­ken or print reg­is­tra­tion num­bers in­cor­rectly.

And res­i­dents are be­ing urged to sign the pe­ti­tion ‘Re­move Excel from the Peel Cen­tre or pro­vide al­ter­na­tive free park­ing for Stock­port res­i­dents’.

How­ever, pro­test­ers have been warned that the land is pri­vately owned by Peel Land and In­vest­ments so the coun­cil has lit­tle con­trol over it.

Coun Pa­trick McAu­ley, ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for re­gen­er­a­tion, said: “The coun­cil has no legal pow­ers to re­move Excel as it is pri­vate land. But it doesn’t mean we can’t take pos­i­tive ac­tion and we in­tend to bring Excel to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble to see if a bet­ter way of work­ing can be found.”

As cars ar­rive and leave at the Peel Cen­tre cam­eras take their pic­ture.

When driv­ers buy a ticket they in­put their reg­is­tra­tion num­ber into a ma­chine, which if not matched with photo records leads to a fine.

Among those to sign the pe­ti­tion is Tina Har­vey, who said: “I de­spise hav­ing to pay for park­ing in Stock­port and if pos­si­ble will travel up the road to Den­ton or Ash­ton.”

Fel­low res­i­dent Mike Hud­son said: “I’m sign­ing be­cause I have heard about so many peo­ple caught out by this com- pany.” But Eric Pyle, a for­mer Mayor of Stock­port who has suc­cess­fully ap­pealed against an Excel fine, says the stores at the shop­ping cen­tre have more in­flu­ence than the coun­cil.

He said: “The land is owned by Peel, which has a con­tract with Excel to col­lect charges and fines. Peel could get rid of them if the ten­ants com­plain.”

Peel Land and In­vest­ments have a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion pending to ex­pand the car park from 932 to 1,366 spa­ces.

An Excel spokesman said: “While it is dis­ap­point­ing not to have had any di­rect con­tact from the coun­cil, we are re­cep­tive to meet­ing.”

He added there are highly-vis­i­ble signs at the Peel Cen­tre set­ting out terms and con­di­tions, on­site staff and a helpline num­ber to deal with any prob­lems.

The en­trance to the Peel Cen­tre, Stock­port

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