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'Sneaky' rise in parking fees cost me fine
6:00am Friday 6th December 2013 in News
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 .
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