‘Broken machine left me with parking fine’

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A CHILDMINDER claims she and fellow motorists were ticketed at a Sheffield car park after they couldn’t pay because the ticket machines weren’t working.

Susan Kharchi, aged 53, of Foxhill, says she stopped at the car park above the shopping precinct at Hillsborough Corner, for around 40 minutes to go to Superdrug chemists.

She said: “I went up to the pay and display machine and put 70 pence in the slot - but it dropped out with an extra 40p on top.

“Another lady put her money in and £4 came back out of the machine. I tried the second machine downstairs but it didn’t work either, so left and did my shopping. When I got back there was a ticket on the car windscreen and a demand for £75.”

Susan said she and other motorists who received tickets went to complain to the security office at the centre, and were re-directed to the enforcement official who was still in the car park.

She added: “He refused to cancel our tickets, saying we needed to appeal to his head office. Yet another woman came up to him, who had managed to get a ticket from the machines but which had fallen on the floor and he tore up her ticket.

“I’ve been using that car park for 32 years, and it’s difficult enough to park around Hillsborough, but this kind of treatment puts you off visiting even more.”

Owners of the precinct have recently brought in West Yorkshire-based firm WYCS to enforce rules in its car park.

The firm’s managing director, David McNicholas, refused to cancel Susan’s fine, saying checks had been carried out on the pay and display machines, which had found they were working.

He said: “Three motorists came up to our attendant and said the machines were broken but the other people using the car park had bought tickets. Ms Kharchi and the others who complained should have put a note in their car windows.

“We can’t cancel parking tickets without evidence to prove people’s reasons.”