Shoppers plan to boycott Fulwood retail park after stream of fines

A number of shoppers who have visited Fulwood Central are planning to boycott the retail park after receiving parking fines in the post, claiming the two hour restrictions aren't long enough.

By James Holt
Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 12:56 pm

The Euro car park, off Eastway in Fulwood, gives shoppers a two-hour parking window to shop at one the retail outlets, including Aldi and B&M Bargains.

Food and drink businesses such as Costa Coffee, Subway and Greggs are also open, although are currently only offering takeaway orders because of Covid-19.

A number of recent shoppers are now pledging to shop elsewhere after receiving parking fines they slam as 'unfair' as they overstayed the two-hour parking limit.

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Fulwood Central retail park car park, off Eastway

But they also claim that because of social distancing and queues outside stores, the time limit is not long enough, especially on weekends and other busy periods.

Adele Cannon, 55, from Cottam, overstayed at the car park by 15 minutes on October 3 whilst doing food shopping for herself and other vulnerable family members.

Using her son's car whilst he attended university in Leeds, the fine was addressed to him and sat unopened for more than four weeks, meaning the fine was increased from £60 to £100 for late payment.

She said: "I’ve appealed on his behalf as he was completely unaware of the fine, obviously being in Leeds. I was shopping for three people during the tier three lockdown and the two shops I visited had queueing systems which took longer than under normal circumstances, hence the overstay.

Shoppers can park, free of charge, for two hours at the retail park

"Under normal circumstances, two hours could be enough, but several trips to the car when shopping for isolating family members plus visiting more than one retailer takes more time and thats without visiting Subway or Costa Coffee.

"Maybe people automatically assume it’s three hours and not two. I’m not convinced they’ll accept my appeal and I’ll end up having to pay the £100, which I think is extortionate for 15 minutes overstay.

"As a shopper who has been using Fulwood central weekly since opening, I am now shopping elsewhere."

Another unhappy shopper, Nora Parker, 69, from Garstang Road, was plagued by two car park finews at the Fulwood site, and had her appeal rejected despite being a key worker and shopping for multiple care home residents.

Food and drink outlets such as Costa Coffee, Greggs and Subway are also part of the retail park

She said: "When I first got the fine, I didn't even realise there was a time limit. I go every Saturday with my two daughters and have never noticed before.

"I was 17 minutes over the two hours because I had been shopping for vulnerable residents in the care home I work at so it took me longer. It is my only day off and we usually go to Costa and have a coffee too.

"In the current climate, there has been a wait outside every shop no matter where you go and the retail park is always busy. You can wait up to an hour alone just queuing at every shop, especially if you are waiting for other people to do their shopping or they're buying for more than one person."

After contacting Euro Car Parks, Nora claims that they failed to acknowledge her reason for overstaying and proceeded to tell her that the fine had to be paid and could not be appealed further.

The car park, managed by Euro Car Parks, fines visitors who stay longer than two hours

"Two hours just isn't enough because it is my only day off work and I don't want to be rushing. Before the new lockdown, me and my daughters could sit in Costa and catch up for ages with lunch before we had even gone shopping," Nora added.

"It is a lovely place to shop and wouldn't be too bad if they gave us three hours for parking, but now I am considering going elsewhere because it isn't worth the stress."

According to the Euro Car Parks website, parking charge notices (PCNs) are issued when a vehicle has breached the terms and conditions of the car park - including failure to display a valid permit or ticket, misuse of disabled or child parking bays and not leaving the premises within an allocated time frame.

The Post has contacted Euro Car Parks for a comment.

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