Capitol Centre parking limit confusion sees shoppers hit with £100 fines

Shoppers have been hit with £100 fines for overstaying on the car park - despite being well within the limit.
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Visitors to Preston’s Capitol Centre were alarmed to discover they had been fined for overstaying at its car park - despite being within the 5 hour limit.

Why? It appears the retail park and its car park operator were confused about their own parking restrictions - resulting in drivers being incorrectly slapped with fines.

So, is it a 3 hour limit or 5 hours?

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Shoppers were shocked to find new signage going up around the car park warning they were now limited to three hours parking, instead of five.

Businesses on the park, including Nuffield Health and Vue Cinema, raised concerns about the reduced time limit, noting how the new restrictions made it nearly impossible to watch a film or combine a visit to the gym with a spot of shopping or bite to eat - without the risk of being fined.

The Capitol Centre has caused confusion for drivers after changing the time limit from 5 hours to 3 hours - and back to 5 hours again.The Capitol Centre has caused confusion for drivers after changing the time limit from 5 hours to 3 hours - and back to 5 hours again.
The Capitol Centre has caused confusion for drivers after changing the time limit from 5 hours to 3 hours - and back to 5 hours again.

The Post raised these concerns with British Land, who took ownership of the Capitol Centre in March 2023, and they swiftly reversed the decision and restored the five hour limit.

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They said incorrect signage was mistakenly installed in the car park due to 'human error' and confirmed there were no changes to the length of stay at any of the Capitol Centre car parks. British Land said the misleading signage would be updated and no parking fines would be issued until the correct signage was in place.

But in the months that followed, shoppers began complaining that they had been fined for 'overstaying' - even though they were within the 5-hour time limit.

What's gone wrong?

The Capitol Centre has sought to clear-up the confusion about its parking restrictions which has seen shoppers being hit with £100 fines.

It explains there are two car parks – Capitol Leisure is on the left-hand side of the entrance road, where Waitrose and Vue Cinema are. This is five hours maximum stay.

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While the retail side where Next and TK Maxx is three hours.

But it's now to change AGAIN

After the Post sought clarification on the car park confusion, we were told by British Land that the decision has now been made that both car parks will share the same five-hour maximum stay.

It said this latest change was made this year but the signage has not yet been updated. It did not say exactly when this year the extended time limit was introduced to the retail side, but said anyone who has been fined should follow the appeals process and this will be reviewed by the car park operator.

A spokesperson for British Land said: "The decision was made this year to extend the maximum stay at the Capitol Retail car park to five hours so that both car parks will share the same five-hour maximum stay.

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"Signage will be updated over the coming weeks and enforcement of the three-hour maximum stay has been suspended during this period.

"If any customers feel they may have been issued a parking charge notice incorrectly, we’d encourage them to follow the appeals process and this will be reviewed by the car park operator.”

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