Parking control at St Stephen’s Place Leisure Park in Trowbridge has come under fire again from angry motorists, after several visitors received tickets despite both of the machines being out of order.
Susan Jeddi parked in the car park at the £17million complex at 10.23am on Monday last week, but when she went to get a ticket for three hours of free parking she noticed that both machines were out of order.
Mrs Jeddi, of Dursley Road, Trowbridge, said she was joined by several other motorists who were trying to get a ticket, but after 10 minutes they decided there was nothing they could do other than take photographs of the machines.
However, when Mrs Jeddi returned to her car at 1.10pm she was shocked to find she had been given a ticket by UK Parking Control.
Mrs Jeddi said: “I don’t know how many tickets were given out, but there were certainly others as well as me. I went to one machine and it had a notice on it saying out of order, so they knew that one wasn’t working.
“I then went to the other one and when I pressed the button the display also said it was out of order. By this time, there were a few other people also trying to get tickets.
“We decided that as both the machines were broken there was no way they could give us a ticket, but I took a couple of photographs with my phone just in case.”
The ticket from UKPC said Mrs Jeddi had to pay the parking fine of £60 within 14 days or it would increase to £100, although she has decided to appeal through the company’s website, a process than can take up to 28 days..
Mrs Jeddi added: “I saw several other cars with tickets on them and I expect many people probably just pay up so the fine doesn’t go up as it is quite stressful, but I haven’t done anything wrong, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t appeal.
“They are very quick to pounce and it seems particularly nasty the way UKPC try and get you. I called Wiltshire Council and they just said it wasn’t their problem, but something needs to change.”
Only last month, Trow-bridge Town Council resolved to write to Legal and General, developer of the leisure park, about the concerns raised by a number of residents about UKPC’s parking enforcement.
A spokesman for UKPC said: "Having looked at this site, yes I can confirm that the P&D machines were out of order on August 18.
"We were first notified of this at 10.15am and these were fixed at 10.35am and the wardens were advised not to issue any charges until 12.30pm so that we didn’t issue charges to anyone who would have been affected by this.
Unfortunately one charge was issued to one of these drivers (Susan Jeddi), however I can confirm that this has since been cancelled."