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Carmina Fothergill

WARNING - Riverside retail park

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A friend of mine went to the Riverside retail park near Bridge Foot today to go to Homebase. As he was made redundant recently he went over to the Job Centre to sign on, then went to put his job search details back into his car before going into Homebase. When he did so he found a parking ticket on his car, issued because he had `left the site.' He went into Homebase to see if the staff could tell him where to find the parking attendant. They couldn't, but he managed to find him anyway and had a fruitless discussion in which he tried to make it clear that he was a regular visitor to the site and frequently shopped at Homebase. He got nowhere with that, and has lodged an appeal on the car park owner's website

 

Apparently there are notices on the car park (which he tells me aren't obvious until you stop to read them in detail, and can't be read from your car as you drive in) which say you aren't allowed to leave the site after parking your car. As my friend remarked, who reads the `warning' notices in detail on a car park? They usually contain general advice such as not to leave valuables in your car. Who ever heard - until now - of a restriction on leaving the site when you're a paying customer at the shops? I've never in my life heard of anyone stopping to read car park notices in detail in case they stipulate some bizarre restriction. Nor has my friend, and he says he's never noticed anyone standing reading any of these notices. Well, you wouldn't, would you?

 

So basically you can't nip across the road for a few minutes when shopping there, much less buy what you want and then go to some other shop in town. And if the shops there don't have what you want, you need to drive off, drive round town and park again before you can shop somewhere else.

 

We thought I should post this to warn other people, because any normal person could be caught out and fined because of this absurd ruling. I can't remember the last time I parked there, but my friend says he won't be going back - as he pointed out, what's to stop the same parking attendant just saying someone left the site even if they didn't. You have no ticket, nothing to prove your right to park there. All you have is your word against theirs, and it's obvious they're trying to catch people out to fine them.

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I went to the car park last week. Again to visit Homebase and it was the first time in a while.

 

I did notice several signs had been put up and I saw a uniformed presence walking around ticketing cars. I saw him ticket several cars for parking in the disabled spaces that did not have disabled badges.

 

I have seen several times over the years of people taking the p*ss and parking in these spaces so I felt a great satisfaction seeing them get tickets. :P

 

I did notice however that when the tickets were issued he effectively "did a runner" back to his hut next to Sports Direct. I bet he has never moved so fast.

 

Not good for your friend. I do feel sorry for him. Being made redundant is hard enough without having to pay unexpected fines.

 

Maybe next time it would be best for him to visit Homebase first so he is seen going in there then the job centre second. He probably would have got away with it then.

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This isnt a fine. i suggest some research be undertaken to see how they can enforce this alleged fine before u decide to pay up.

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I must admit that although I am not a regular parker at Riverside (maybe twice an month if that) but I am fully aware that such parking restirctions are in place and have been for some time.

 

For years many people parked at Riverside then hopped over the road to shop in Warrington Town Centre so as to avoid the cost of parking in the paid for carparks.

 

I do feel sorry for your friend though if all he did was nip over to the job centre and I agree that it's a good idea to let other know who may not know.

 

Maybe the job centre could issue 30 minute free short stay passes for those who have to go to the JC and who are registered with them as looking for work. They could put in their cars so they can park there for ease for a limited time and without worry.

 

Just a thought :?

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Typical of Warrington.....

 

This just re-enforces the argument not to shop here and go to Widnes or Trafford Centre....

 

Maybe our community minded councillors would like to do something about it..... but don't hold your breath

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Appealing was a mistake. The "fine" is unenforceable but now they know his name.

http://www.bitterwallet.com/dealing-with-parking-tickets-part-1/15305

 

Thanks for the information Victor, unfortunately in the past I fell victim to a similar situation at the Forge car park at Stockton Heath when taking my wife to the Doctors, we were running close to her appointment time and was so preoccupied that I forgot to take a ticket, on returning the warden had issued a ticket and was in the process of taking a photo of our vehicle, we explain the situation and he was very compassionate in his demeanour and replied that he couldn't rescind the ticket once issued also the photo could not be deleted as it was more than his job was worth, he advised us to appeal to WBC which I did to no avail, so as much as I empathise with Carmina,s friend, I'm afraid it's a case of 'learn from their unfortunate experience, unfortunately it's just another example of the cut throat money grabbing society we live in!. :(

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Yes they are Vic.

 

As for your link I didn;t know that so I'm rather tempted to park at riverside and get a ticket to try that out :wink::lol:

 

Another link here has similar advice (and more) and also says not to give them any details etc or engage in any form of discussion. Just ignore them and their letters.

 

If they persist in contacting you or threaten legal/bailiff action it advises simply say you do not know who the driver was and can they please supply photo evidence of the actual driver. Most wont be able too and as such the fine in unenforcable.

 

It does warn that you should NOT actually say you weren't the driver if you were as occassionally these private car park grots have sneaky video or photo evidence.... and anything you say which is untrue could later be used against you.

 

http://www.ticketfighter.co.uk/private.htm

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The Forge is a council car park, isn't it? Riverside is private.

Certainly is Victor, I did mention WBC in my post, and on appeal they would not even discuss the situation.

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Maybe next time it would be best for him to visit Homebase first so he is seen going in there then the job centre second. He probably would have got away with it then.

 

Unfortunately not. He would have been fined anyway, as the fine is for leaving the car park, not for failing to shop there. This is the main point: there's a ridiculous limitation on your actions that no reasonable person would expect.

 

 

Typical of Warrington.....

 

This just re-enforces the argument not to shop here and go to Widnes or Trafford Centre....

 

Maybe our community minded councillors would like to do something about it..... but don't hold your breath

 

Exactly. My friend intends to go out of town in future, or order from the Internet - starting with the goods he would have bought yesterday if the incident hadn't happened.

 

 

Appealing was a mistake. The "fine" is unenforceable but now they know his name.

http://www.bitterwallet.com/dealing-with-parking-tickets-part-1/15305

 

The link you provided wasn't working just now, so I can't comment on that, but they'd photographed his car. The point is, my friend has no objections to being fined if he breaks a reasonable rule. Like Algy in the next post he once forgot to pay and was perfectly willing to pay the resulting fine. What he objects to - and I agree - is that a ridiculous ruling that no sensible person would expect is being enforced. Are we supposed to read every notice displayed in car parks in future in case there's some bizarre ruling that no-one in their right mind would ever think up?

 

My friend's intention last night was to contact the various national businesses who have outlets at Riverside and point out to them that not only will he not be going back there but he will also not be using other car parks run by this same company, so it's not in their interests to enter into agreements with this car park company when planning future sites. Obviously his situation is only the tip of the iceberg, and many more people are going to feel the same way.

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I too got a ticket there around 15 months ago. If you look in the forums on Moneysupermarket there is advice on what to do.

Fortunately for me I knew to screw it up and throw it in the boot, then came the letters and threats from bailiffs and "Solicitors" which then became phone calls.

I've got a wad of letters in my office but not had any correspondence since October last year.

The last letter from Graham White Solicitors (research them too, plenty of advice about dealing with them) was for a "Fine" of £480

To sum up, DO NOT PAY!!!

 

Paulo

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It may not seem fair to be given a ticket, but if you were driving round for ages not able to find a space because everyone had parked there free of charge and gone into town for the day, as has happened previously, you would maybe have a different view. The retailers on the Riverside presumably have to pay something towards the ticketing system and they have a right to protect the parking for their customers.

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It may not seem fair to be given a ticket, but if you were driving round for ages not able to find a space because everyone had parked there free of charge and gone into town for the day, as has happened previously, you would maybe have a different view. The retailers on the Riverside presumably have to pay something towards the ticketing system and they have a right to protect the parking for their customers.

 

My friend said there were plenty of spaces yesterday - and there often are when he visits. He's never had any problems finding a space.

 

He's now had his appeal summarily dismissed by CMS, without any proper reply to the points he raised. Though evidently forced to pay these crooks, he doesn't intend to let the matter rest.

 

Incidentally I think the retailers have far more reason to be concerned about falling sales because people start to go elsewhere than they have about people nipping across the road for ten minutes before shopping (or after shopping, as the case may be). If this is a problem, other people manage to run their car parks by installing a payment scheme, with exemption for people who buy goods. CMS couldn't be bothered installing any such system, and nor could they be bothered (assuming what my friend says is correct) putting up signs in lettering large enough to be read by drivers as they enter the car park. From what he says, the signs are designed to be read by pedestrians, and are of the type commonly put up in car parks to give general warnings about not leaving valuables and so forth. None of this is about people trying to avoid paying, or misusing the car park. It's about paying customers being mistreated and driven away from the retail park, to the loss of the shops there.

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Tesco at Earlestown has a camera that records your car numberplate in and out (max 2 hours) - but doesn't know where you've gone. I stayed longer, ignored the demand for payment and heard nothing more.

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People are saying that they had letters after parking illegally etc, but how can these companies get your address from just your car registration? I thought that was something only the plod could do???

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No... for a small fee other people/organisations can get the info direct from the DVLA. Even I knew that but I did have to google the next bit :lol:

 

They have to have 'Justifiable and reasonable cause' for requesting the info though.

 

Examples of reasonable causes for obtaining the information )from the DVLA website) are:

 

•To trace the keeper of an abandoned vehicle or vehicle involved in a minor accident (for example, if a car has been driven into and damaged another vehicle, then been driven away).

 

•To trace the keeper of a vehicle which has been driven away from a petrol station without paying for fuel, or which has been driven without payment of a toll bridge or tunnel.

 

To trace the keepers of vehicles that have been parked on private land without paying the parking charges.

 

•To investigate suspected insurance fraud.

 

Anyone requesting information should provide evidence to the DVLA which shows why their request is reasonable. Companies who ask for information must always provide details of their business activities.

 

This deters people from pretending to have a reasonable business cause such as recovering money owed for petrol when in fact they want the keeper’s name and address for another purpose.

 

Companies requesting information to enforce parking fees must also provide evidence to show that a parking charge scheme actually exists and that drivers are made aware that the scheme is in force.

 

I would imagine that although a parking charge is not made for Riverside the fact that there is a parking scheme in force and it is signposted with warning etc then if the person does not pay up the company then has 'reasonable cause' as the unpaid fine could be deemed to be a parking 'fee' blah blah blah ... so they get the info (maybe)

 

It also states that anyone who asks for vehicle keeper information is warned that it is an offence under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 to unlawfully obtain information, for example by stating they want the information for one reasonable and lawful purpose when actually they want it for another illegitimate or unlawful purpose.

 

So if ever I receive a parking fine there I am going to firstly ignore it and the person giving it to me if they are handing it over, then if I receive any letters I will demand to know where they got my address details from, and then I'll wait for their solicitor and ignore him, and as long as you never 'invite' a bailiff over the doopstep and into your house to discuss any matter there is nothing they can actually do. (unless they are from HMRC as they are allowed to force entry I think)

 

But of course it is far easier not to park where you shouldn't :wink:

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Hi Algy. I got a fine in the Stockton Heath car park too. I had a hair appointment so knew I'd be over 2 hours, but didn't have the £1.00 (as it used to be) for the machine. I went into the sunbed place for change and came out to find the car parking attendant. I'd already been ticketed and "once it's been issued it can't be taken back" (would LOVE to know whether that's true!). He told me the same thing; appeal to WBC. Standard line I suspect. I did appeal and explained but wasn't particularly hopeful of a good outcome. It seems that your word is worth very little, but theirs is never wrong. Anyway, I would not have minded a "those are the rules, very sorry" sort of response, but the downright rude letter I got back was absolutely infuriating. My Dad has done the same thing as you. At 70 he's a bit forgetful and hasn't remembered his ticket, and I'm sure this error happens a lot. For WBC to be so downright disrespectful in their response is a tad out of order!

In this case I'll keep my eyes peeled next time I'm in Riverside... in fact, I think I'll stick to Halton Lea. Was there at the weekend and quite a good selection of similar shops, lots of spaces and nothing to worry about with the parking. Watching this saga with interest though...

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But surely if they WBC's parking blue coat leaches are running at a loss it means that people are learning to park where and how they should so in effect the enforcement process has worked in a way.

 

On the other hand people could all just be parking on carparks run by private enforcement companies as they have also learned how to get away with that :lol:

 

PS For anyone parking in the Stockton Heath Forge Carpark... the blue coats often hide near the closed toilets and at the back of the church hall and yes they are relentless at times.

 

I've even seen them ticket a car for touching a white line at turned 5pm when the car park has been empty the same has happened at Walton Garden's council patrolled car park too.

 

How on earth they can have the shame to ticket cars for that in empty car parks nearing closing time anyway is beyond me but they 'have to do it as its the rules' :blink:

 

Like Quecumber has said the SH one does have two hours free parking though (you just press the button for your free ticket). If you are going to be longer and have no change then get a free ticket anyway (and even beter if you have a pen just write 'gone to get some change back in a sec and ps photographic and dated/timed evidence has been taken :lol: ' on it) while you go and get some change, then replace the ticket immediately with your paid for one with another note.

 

Leaving both in place obviously to confuse then even more :lol:

 

Another suggestion is as they take photo's of every car they ticket in SH Forge and elsewhere is to just put a big sign in you window saying 'HIT MAN AT WORK..CCTV IN OPERATION.. BACK SOON..SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE' :lol:

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Friends were in London looking for their hotel and had got the wrong postcode. Parked up to ask - in a loading bay rather than on yellow lines. One got out of the car and asked in a shop, got back in (5 mins tops). The other never left the car. Car had been photographed from a fixed camera, and they got a fixed fine.

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Blummin' heck that a bit harsh and how on earth would you argue that one... human vs automated camera 'end of' as the camera can't speak, see, comprehend or think and monitor for a few minutes and no doubt as such is 'always right' :angry:

 

Ridiculous world at times eh especially if you are human eh?

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Well..... seems like the parking enforcement bods are out in force.

 

My dad phoned me tonight and it seems my aunt and uncle (both retired and in the 80's age bracket) parked on Riverside today and yep they got a parking ticket.

 

FEE £90 or £50 if they pay within 14 days :shock: That is EXTORTIONATE !!!

 

They have not paid it yet nor have they contacted anyone about it or given any details but being older and rather worried about the consequence they say they are just going to pay and learn their lesson and we can;t talk them out of it <_<

 

They say they wont be parking there again either though and as such will not be going into all their favourite shops that they visit a few times every week.

 

They could have filled trolleys full of items in the bargain shops for the equivalent of the parking fine they got today.

 

Ah well such is life :unsure:

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My friend intends to take this up with Helen Jones, pointing out how damaging it is to shopping in Warrington, and also saying how it would increase traffic because anyone who wanted to shop in the other parts of town would have to drive off Riverside and park up again elsewhere. I'll suggest he refers her to this discussion.

 

He also intends to write to several of the retailers on Riverside to explain why they're losing customers, and to their head offices to warn them what will happen if they open new outlets on sites where CMS run the car park. He does intend to pay the fine, because he doesn't feel he can avoid it. He feels it's absurd, but he was tricked into it and it isn't worth trying to fight it. Putting his energies into stopping CMS doing this will cost CMS far more than they get from him, and will hopefully save other people from the same fate. I'm sorry to see they've already got more people, but inevitibly they will until they're stopped completely.

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