Running the gauntlet of parking firms

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What do your readers think about getting a parking ticket when they shop at their local retail park? Shopping at this time of year is stressful enough without having to run the gauntlet of some private car park company out to catch you out.

Why isn’t parking when you shop provided by the retail store you’re giving your custom to, anyway? Why are parking companies involved?

Take Flora Street Retail Park, Hillsborough, for example. You have something to buy from Aldi, Home Bargains or Iceland, and you end up getting a parking ticket, Why?

It’s not as if you’re parking on the street, or going into a NCP or council car park, and walking to the shops, that’s different.

That’s old-fashioned, now we go to a retail park where there are stores, which you want to shop at, and they provide somewhere free to park for a reasonable time, and you make your purchase, and drive away. That’s the deal, isn’t it?

Well no, not at Flora Street. There the stores don’t own the land, and the landowner sees the opportunity of a nice little earner from parking penalties on top of the rents the stores pay him.

Fair enough if you overstay a time sufficient to do a big shop at busy times, or you deliberately go off site.

But what if it’s busy and all the parking bays are full and you park on a big open space at the entrance to the retail park, out of the way of people coming in and going out, and not anywhere marked as a restricted area, if you got a ticket in those circumstances, you’d feel pretty aggrieved, wouldn’t you?

Well, join the club! You’re not the only one, and all you had done that day was go out to do a shop.

A pretty expensive shop, paying £100 a time just to park! (Why isn’t it £60, like the council?)

It would be interesting to know the percentage of parking tickets issued related to this area without warning markings.

I can tell you, (because the parking company has written and told me), that this particular landowner deems it unnecessary to crosshatch the space he doesn’t want you to park on, because if you read his signs carefully enough, the ONLY place you can park is in one of the marked bays. But all the bays were full.

MS Peters

Kensington Drive, Sheffield