Trafford Centre shoppers hit with parking fines under new scheme

By Rachel Pugh & Charlotte Hadfield

Shoppers were slapped with unexpected fines after parking at the Trafford Centre over the weekend.

A new parking initiative was introduced at the popular shopping centre after a number of customers found themselves struggling to find a space to park.

Orient car parks 10, 11 and 14 have been closed at the shopping centre due to the Summer Social event and for the use of motoring giant Tesla, the Manchester Evening News reports.

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And an increasing number on shoppers have also admitted to using the free car park as means for using the nearby tram stop to get to football matches at the Etihad and Old Trafford, and to get into Manchester.

Trafford Centre shoppers were slapped with parking fines over the weekend (MEN)

The fight for a parking spot has led many shoppers to park on pavements, double lines and inside disabled bays without permits.

As a result, the shopping centre deployed parking wardens who were seen dishing out penalty notes to customers.

Several shoppers have taken to Twitter to complain about the parking situation after they were left struggling to find a space.

One shopper wrote: "Why is the Trafford Centre so rammed today? Not usually this busy. Need to move the stupid fair and #tesla area which are taking up loads of parking spaces."

Another said: "Been to the Trafford Centre to drop daughter off, f*****g nightmare parking, one carpark closed for a funfair one closed for a f*****g tesla exhibition."

The Trafford Centre has now warned shoppers to park in the designated bays, or to risk a penalty charge.

A spokesperson for the Trafford Centre said: "The Trafford Centre has a total of 18 car parks with 15 currently open, offering over 10,000 spaces. Even with the closure of Orient car parks 10, 11 and 14, there are plenty of parking spaces available for visitors as well as public transport links.

"We want to provide a safe and accessible environment for all our visitors. This means that certain areas of our car parks, such as pedestrian walkways and emergency exits, need to stay clear at all times.

"We also need to ensure that accessible bays are kept clear for visitors who require them.

"Due to a small minority of visitors parking in these areas, we have re-introduced our Sensitive Parking initiative to encourage safe and appropriate use of our car parks."

What are the rules on parking tickets?

Owners can issue parking tickets on private land.

However they can only only issue Parking Charge Notices.

These are different to Penalty Charge notices, which are tickets which are issued by parking wardens employed by local councils in relation to parking on public streets, usually in town and city centres and which are backed up by the law.

Parking Charge Notices are invoices for breach of contract and can either be put on the vehicle physically or sent in the post if the firm is a member of the BPA.

If a driver refuses to pay, and the operator wants to compel them, they will have to take them to civil court which can be costly and time consuming for both parties.

But if the car park operator takes the driver to court and wins, the motorist will have pay the costs in addition to the original charge. If they lose and still refuse to pay, the judgment could be added to your credit file making it harder to borrow money.

Appeals should made in the first instance to the firm who issued the ticket, and if you are not satisfied, you can then appeal to Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA), a free ombudsman service.

The Trafford Centre says any queries need to be directed to Workflow Dynamics on 03444 127 929 or enquiries@workflowdynamic.com.


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