PARKING charges at Junction One Retail Park have been suspended following customer complaints that the new regulations were draconian and signs warning of the four-hour limit were not clear enough.
Orchard Street Investment Management, which owns Junction One, said it had stopped issuing parking tickets while a full review of the policy took place.
It comes after we reported concerns of motorists who had been sent invoices for staying longer than four hours – one of which claimed the letter was made to look like a legal notice.
A spokeswoman for Orchard Street said: “We are now aware a few customers have been wrongly caught up in the new ticketing system and as a result, and to ensure this does not happen again, we have ceased ticketing while we undertake a full review of the process.
“We value the feedback we have received from the local residents, and are committed to finding a solution to the ticketing process that suits the needs of the businesses the car park serves and the local residents visiting Junction One.”
Signs were put up at the shopping park in February warning visitors they will be charged a maximum of £100 if they stayed longer than four hours.
But disgruntled shoppers told The Observer the signs were unclear, and claimed bullying tactics are being used in the enforcement of parking charges.
A 70-year-old woman, who did not wish to be named, was invoiced for £100 by parking management company Civil Enforcement Limited after she unwittingly exceeded the four-hour limit.
But the Orchard Street spokeswoman said the new parking policy was introduced “in good faith and in the best interests of Junction One Retail Park‘s customers and businesses.” to dissuade lorry drivers from parking overnight and car owners from exploiting the free car park.
“We were also advised that implementing a ticketing system would not only alleviate this misuse of the car park, but it would also have a direct impact on reducing crime, such as car and store theft.” she added.