'Sneaky' rise in parking fees cost me fine

Kidderminster Shuttle: ‘Appalled’: Freddi Smart next to the Swan Centre car park with her fine. Buy this photo » ‘Appalled’: Freddi Smart next to the Swan Centre car park with her fine.

A WOMAN has blasted a Kidderminster car park’s management after claiming she was slapped with a penalty when prices were increased without warning.

Freddi Smart said her routine daily visit to the town centre ended with a £90 parking ticket after she was hit with the bill while parked in the Swan Centre car park.

She had paid her usual 85p for two hours on Wednesday last week, unaware that the fees had been increased to £1.20 for that period.

Ms Smart, from Kidderminster, said there were no noticeable signs warning of the rise and unbeknown to her the machine had given her a ticket for half an hour at the new price of 50p.

She was gobsmacked when she returned to her car just over an hour later to find the penalty notice slapped on her windscreen.

“I arrived at about 11am and I could see big signs saying ‘level two, two hours only’,” she explained.

“I only stay two hours anyway so I didn’t think about it.

“I put my 85p into the ticket machine as usual and it printed me a ticket. No warning flashed up. I came back at 12.30pm to find I had a parking ticket.

“My issue is that there was no strong indication that the tariffs were changing.”

She added she returned to the car park later on that day, only to see that the signs explaining the increase had been put up on the machines – jus t hours after she had been penalised.

“I think it’s disgusting,” Ms Smart said. “It’s absolutely appalling. It’s a sneaky way of getting money just before Christmas in a failing town.”

She added: “When I got the fine I was in shock. I’m there every day nearly and I have never overstayed. I was so angry.

“Since then there are a lot more signs up but there wasn’t any pre-warning or any clear indication that anything had changed. If it costs £1 to park for an hour, why did the machine print a ticket? It shouldn’t have.

"I expect the prices to go up but there should be some warning and consideration for customers.”

Swan Centre management declined to comment when contacted by The Shuttle .

Comments (11)

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8:54am Fri 6 Dec 13

Windylindsay says...

Funny how the management won't comment. We were fined a few weeks back for parking over the lines. By the way, it's £45 if paid within 14 days and increases to £90 after. Fair enough, we were in the wrong. But, 4 other cars also had parked over the lines and 1 had an expired ticket but no fines! The fine was issued 3 minutes after we bought the ticket and we were obviously being watched on the CCTV and targeted. We got back to the car 5 mins before 5 and my husband went to find the manager and was told he had just left to go home. Really???!!!! Come on! We paid the fine. Nothing we could do. We were in the wrong but fair is fair and what about the other cars? I will no longer be using this carpark and in the future be using Tescos or Weavers Wharf.
Funny how the management won't comment. We were fined a few weeks back for parking over the lines. By the way, it's £45 if paid within 14 days and increases to £90 after. Fair enough, we were in the wrong. But, 4 other cars also had parked over the lines and 1 had an expired ticket but no fines! The fine was issued 3 minutes after we bought the ticket and we were obviously being watched on the CCTV and targeted. We got back to the car 5 mins before 5 and my husband went to find the manager and was told he had just left to go home. Really???!!!! Come on! We paid the fine. Nothing we could do. We were in the wrong but fair is fair and what about the other cars? I will no longer be using this carpark and in the future be using Tescos or Weavers Wharf. Windylindsay

9:15am Fri 6 Dec 13

norman73 says...

They council car park near aldi did the same trick to my sister a few years ago. Sneaked the cost up by 10p then fined her.

I don't think they should have traffic warden. you should be charged when you leave the car park how long you been there instead instead of guessing how long you are going to be.
They council car park near aldi did the same trick to my sister a few years ago. Sneaked the cost up by 10p then fined her. I don't think they should have traffic warden. you should be charged when you leave the car park how long you been there instead instead of guessing how long you are going to be. norman73

9:28am Fri 6 Dec 13

grouchy old git says...

Are you aware that UKPC have no legal right to demand money from you? They can huff and puff all they like but unless they get a county court order, they cannot send a 'heavy' in to force or frighten you into paying.

I noticed the signs last week and drove out and parked somewhere else. I usually only stay 2 hours but all the top floors are now marked for long term, 'Over 2 hours' parking so I imagine that if you park on any of these floors with a 2 hour ticket, UKPC will use it as an excuse to ticket your car for parking in the wrong place even though there is usually very little space left on the lower floors after 11 AM on a Friday and Saturday.
Are you aware that UKPC have no legal right to demand money from you? They can huff and puff all they like but unless they get a county court order, they cannot send a 'heavy' in to force or frighten you into paying. I noticed the signs last week and drove out and parked somewhere else. I usually only stay 2 hours but all the top floors are now marked for long term, 'Over 2 hours' parking so I imagine that if you park on any of these floors with a 2 hour ticket, UKPC will use it as an excuse to ticket your car for parking in the wrong place even though there is usually very little space left on the lower floors after 11 AM on a Friday and Saturday. grouchy old git

9:43am Fri 6 Dec 13

Bcfc1186 says...

Is it that difficult to check the price?
Is it that difficult to check the price? Bcfc1186

9:50am Fri 6 Dec 13

Windylindsay says...

grouchy old git wrote:
Are you aware that UKPC have no legal right to demand money from you? They can huff and puff all they like but unless they get a county court order, they cannot send a 'heavy' in to force or frighten you into paying.

I noticed the signs last week and drove out and parked somewhere else. I usually only stay 2 hours but all the top floors are now marked for long term, 'Over 2 hours' parking so I imagine that if you park on any of these floors with a 2 hour ticket, UKPC will use it as an excuse to ticket your car for parking in the wrong place even though there is usually very little space left on the lower floors after 11 AM on a Friday and Saturday.
I have heard this from someone else as well. Apparently you are well within your rights to send say a fiver and a letter to say that you think a fiver is a sufficient enough fine for the error. If I had known this before paying the fine, I would have done it!
[quote][p][bold]grouchy old git[/bold] wrote: Are you aware that UKPC have no legal right to demand money from you? They can huff and puff all they like but unless they get a county court order, they cannot send a 'heavy' in to force or frighten you into paying. I noticed the signs last week and drove out and parked somewhere else. I usually only stay 2 hours but all the top floors are now marked for long term, 'Over 2 hours' parking so I imagine that if you park on any of these floors with a 2 hour ticket, UKPC will use it as an excuse to ticket your car for parking in the wrong place even though there is usually very little space left on the lower floors after 11 AM on a Friday and Saturday.[/p][/quote]I have heard this from someone else as well. Apparently you are well within your rights to send say a fiver and a letter to say that you think a fiver is a sufficient enough fine for the error. If I had known this before paying the fine, I would have done it! Windylindsay

2:14pm Fri 6 Dec 13

stoke1 says...

Bcfc1186 wrote:
Is it that difficult to check the price?
Well said Bcfc1186
I bet my right arm that the altered prices were clearly displayed at the ticket machine.
What the hell is "sneaky" about putting parking prices up anyway?
Pay attention to your actions and no fine will ensue!!!!!!
Supermarkets increase prices all the time and don't warn you as you walk in.
Jesus wept!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Bcfc1186[/bold] wrote: Is it that difficult to check the price?[/p][/quote]Well said Bcfc1186 I bet my right arm that the altered prices were clearly displayed at the ticket machine. What the hell is "sneaky" about putting parking prices up anyway? Pay attention to your actions and no fine will ensue!!!!!! Supermarkets increase prices all the time and don't warn you as you walk in. Jesus wept!!!! stoke1

4:47pm Sat 7 Dec 13

John Herbert Smith says...

This "fine" is probably unenforceable. Most parking tickets are.
Check, and if so, don't pay a penny.

In future, park at Curry's for free and walk over (free exercise too). Why are you wasting money paying for parking?
This "fine" is probably unenforceable. Most parking tickets are. Check, and if so, don't pay a penny. In future, park at Curry's for free and walk over (free exercise too). Why are you wasting money paying for parking? John Herbert Smith

6:38pm Mon 9 Dec 13

neilhar says...

The Shuttle called for a comment. Blimey, things are looking up for balanced reporting at last.
The Shuttle called for a comment. Blimey, things are looking up for balanced reporting at last. neilhar

8:42pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Frank Spencer2 says...

Another reason why I left that dying town. I only read the shuttle to prove how right my decision to leave was.
Another reason why I left that dying town. I only read the shuttle to prove how right my decision to leave was. Frank Spencer2

1:08pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Bcfc1186 says...

Presumably, Frank Spencer2, you now live somewhere where you do not get fined for failing to buy the appropriate parking ticket for a private car park?

Where is this place?
Presumably, Frank Spencer2, you now live somewhere where you do not get fined for failing to buy the appropriate parking ticket for a private car park? Where is this place? Bcfc1186

1:13pm Tue 10 Dec 13

stour67 says...

And they wonder why the high street dying ,no problem shopping at merry hill or on line they want your custom another sneeky way of getting you out of your car and onto useless public transport.
And they wonder why the high street dying ,no problem shopping at merry hill or on line they want your custom another sneeky way of getting you out of your car and onto useless public transport. stour67

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