Shoppers on the industrial estate in Tunbridge Wells are getting hit with £100 parking charges from a private company after the time limit was reduced to two-and-a-half hours.
Invoices are being dished out to drivers parking at Tunbridge Wells Shopping Park which is home to big names such as browsers’ favourite TK Maxx, Argos and Next.
The park is off Longfield Road and shoppers have shared their experiences of getting clobbered with the tickets and their attempts at appealing them.
Kent Live understands the private parking firm switched from Nexus Group in November last year.
The company appearing on the invoices is UK Parking Control Limited in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire.
There has been criticism of parking facilities because the parking sign is “so high on a lamp post” it was not obvious.
Local people said the parking restrictions changed late last year from five hours to 2.5 hours.
One shopper hit at Tunbridge Wells Shopping Park was Laura Davies.
She received a parking charge notice through the post for £100 and took to Facebook for advice and raise awareness “so that other shoppers aren’t caught out with unexpected charges”.
She had parked there on January 14 but the first she knew about a charge was a letter in the post on February 19.
Laura Davies told KentLive: “I parked in the TK Maxx car park. The info I found online stated 2 hours restriction but apparently the signs, which I wasn’t aware of, state 2.5 hours. If its 2.5 hours then I was 17 mins over I believe. I arrived at 9.14am and left at 12.01pm.”
“We didn’t received an initial letter and this is apparently the second letter they have sent to us so the fine has escalated to £100.”
“We went back to look for the signs and they are not blindingly obvious as they are at Fountains where M&S is. You can’t miss those. I have been shopping at Tunbridge Wells Shopping Park for 15 years and never had a problem.
“I was aware of the restrictions at Knights Park but not there,” said Laura, who always lived in Tunbridge Wells before moving to Crowborough.
“I’m disgusted at being charged £100 for spending my time and money in local shops at a time when the economy is bouncing back from COVID and shops are struggling to compete with online companies.”
“Two-and-a-half hours really is not adequate time for the size of the shops which are there. I often clothes shop there for my family of five and that takes time, so I don’t want to be rushing or clock watching.”
Laura said she is appealing the charge but it has so far been impossible to get in touch with the company by phone.
New rules from the Government to be in place by the end of next year at the latest, will ban private car park operators from issuing parking tickets above £50 in most cases.
They will also have to better display their “pricing policies, and terms and conditions” according to MoneySavingsExpert.com.
Kent Live has contacted UK Parking Control Ltd.
Article Source: Kent Live