Drivers want car park firm axed
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 change.org 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.