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Our big fines are mistakes say drivers on retail park
3:11pm Tuesday 1st May 2012 in Echo News
TWO men have been heavily fined after being accused of parking at Southend Airport’s retail park for days – rather than hours.
Barry Green, 40, and Tony Strange, 22, both used the park, visiting various stores on separate days last month, but while both were snapped entering the site it was claimed neither of them left the same day.
Mr Green, from Leigh, visited on Wednesday, April 18, at 7.12pm and left about half-hour later after shopping in Argos.
He returned on Friday morning to visit Staples, spent about half an hour there and left at 11.43am.
However he was accused of parking his green Honda Accord there between Wednesday evening and Friday morning.
He was fined £120, or £60 if he pays within 13 days.
Mr Green, a self-employed engraver, has vowed to fight his case with parking management company Parking Eye.
He said: “They are saying I was in the car park for 40 hours and 31 minutes from the Wednesday to the Friday. But on Thursday, April 19, I took my niece Simone to the Colchester Institute where she is studying music.
“I came home and then returned to the institute in the evening to see her perform in a concert. I have the tickets to prove I was there and I am trying to get CCTV from the institute.
“I complained to the police, but they said it was a civil matter.
“Not only will I be appealing this fine, but I will be sending this company a bill for the time I have lost dealing with this. It is outrageous.”
Tony Strange, of Treecot Drive, Leigh, was also caught out by the CCTV cameras in the same retail park where drivers are permitted to park for up to three hours.
He first entered the car park at just after 11pm on Good Friday, April 6, when he and his girlfriend visited McDonalds – but the trip ended up costing £120.
Following their first visit the couple returned to the retail park 36 hours later on Easter Sunday when they decided to see if the new Home Bargains store had opened, but they left shortly after.
Mr Strange was shocked when days later he received his fine from Parking Eye car park management, which claimed his silver Nissan Primera had been left in the car park over the weekend.
He said: “It’s a lot of money, especially when you have kids to look after. I’m just really upset that this has happened to me. I’m refusing to pay.
“If I was in the wrong then I would pay it straight away, but there is no way they’re getting money out of me when it’s their mistake. I would say to other people to not go there – it just isn’t worth it. The whole thing is unbelievable.”
THE COMPANY in charge of the airport car park said it was brought in because of problems with commuter parking. ParkingEye says the Airport Retail car park has suffered from people leaving their cars while they travel - meaning genuine shoppers are unable to find parking spaces.
A spokesman said: “Parking is still free at the car park, although with a maximum stay of three hours. People parking longer than this will receive a charge.
“However, ParkingEye operates a written and fully audited appeals process and we encourage any motorist to appeal if they feel there are mitigating circumstances in their case.
“Currently Mr Green has not appealed his charge, so we would suggest he contacts us and follows our appeals procedure.
“We are currently processing Mr Strange’s appeal and have asked him to provide evidence that backs up his case. To date he has not done so, but we hope to receive this in the near future.”