Tuesday, 4 Oct 2022

Grandma slams ‘sneaky’ 7ft parking signs after getting fined £100

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A 74-year-old grandmother is refusing to pay a £100 parking fine after she was caught out on a shopping trip. Patricia ‘Tish’ Wallinger who is only 5ft 2ins tall, claims the parking company uses “sneaky” tactics by having signs “7ft off the ground” in order to “entrap people.”

Speaking to TeessideLive, Tish says she popped to Cleveland Gate Retail Park in Guisborough last month to collect some bits with her friend Hazel. The grandmother, who has a number of health conditions that restrict her mobility, said she likes to take her time when shopping, using an electric scooter to move around.

The grandma-of-three was shocked to receive a parking fine from G24 Parking Management Solutions, telling her she stayed 11 minutes over the allotted time. Tish, who is only 5ft 2ins tall, says the parking company uses “sneaky” tactics by having signs “7ft off the ground” in order to “entrap people.”

Tish, who retired at 48 due to ill health and only goes out around once a week, said: “When I first went there, I was looking for a pay-as-you-park meter but didn’t see any so I thought it was free. But I didn’t realise it was only free for two hours. It takes me about 10 minutes to get my scooter ready to go anywhere.

“I was out with my friend, Hazel, to do a bit of retail therapy. We wanted a couple of things. As we’re both in our seventies, we go around slowly. Since covid started we don’t go out very much. I use a small, folding electric mobility scooter which is kept in the boot of my car.

“I was surprised to receive [a letter] stating that I’d overstayed the parking limit of two hours by 11 minutes, demanding that I pay £100, almost £10 a minute. I don’t have £100. I’m not paying it – I’m fed up.

“They stated that the parking notices are easy to see – they aren’t, they are attached to poles approximately seven feet from the ground and I actually had to revisit the retail park to find them but I couldn’t find the cameras. I’m 5ft 2inch, so my eye level isn’t anywhere near that, and by the time I sit on my scooter, it is a lot less.

“I think the signs being situated well above the eye line is deliberate by the company to entrap people and ensure maximum fines.”

The mum-of-three quickly sent an appeal against the fine, but soon received a letter to say it was rejected and was told to either pay up or be taken to court. She said she will not be paying the “extortionate demand” and claims that she is not alone in her frustration, hearing that others had made complaints about the same car park.

One instance she claims involved a child’s birthday party at a nearby pancake house, where parking fines “cost more than the party”. She said she thinks shops on the site will lose customers because of the parking fine restrictions, adding: “The shops on this site are losing business because of this, I’m one of them and will not be shopping there again.”

Express Online has contacted G24 Parking Management Solutions for comment.

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