Calls for urgent meeting as complaints against Island Green car park operator mount after fines issued
Calls have been made for an urgent meeting to be held as dozens of shoppers in Wrexham have been fined for parking at Island Green.
Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras were recently installed at Island Green, which is home to several large retailers, including Argos and Wilko, as well as Wrexham Central train station.
A growing number of drivers have since complained they have received parking charge notices of up to £90, despite only visiting for a short period to drop people off or collect a pizza from the town’s branch of Domino’s.
We have been long documenting it on the Wrexham.com twitter account with warnings issued earlier in the year:
— Wrexham.com (@wrexham) May 8, 2019
This was inside dominos when I went yesterday your safer getting a ticket just incase you get a fine pic.twitter.com/1sMmfK6Z8G
— Gemma Rose Jones (@gemmarose1994) May 8, 2019
It’s like Iv done it on purpose that I would sooner pay £50 not £1.30 when I took my disabled hubby to island green, I know it’s my own fault for not knowing it had changed but appeal lost! Never mind I know I won’t be parking there again. Parking killing the shops @wrexham pic.twitter.com/KHAfGcgimV
— Andrea TT (@Andrea0711) May 15, 2019
@wrexham anybody else had a letter saying if you park in island green again you will be fined ? Even though it was 2100 – 2120 !🤭 apparently a new company owns the car park.
— steve d.o jones (@madkeeper) March 15, 2019
Paid a visit to @wrexham Island Green Argos first time in a while a few weeks back. Today received a “you broke the rules, we’ll let you off this time but next time we’ll fine you £90 letter”. That’s all well and good Barbara but do you want to tell me wtf I did wrong? 😏
— Ruth 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 (@Ruth6907) February 18, 2019
It has led to a Facebook page being set up to encourage motorists to boycott the car park, which has attracted more than 1,800 members.
Wrexham Council leader Mark Pritchard now wants to hold a meeting with representatives from Euro Car Parks, which manages the site, as soon as possible.
He said: “It’s completely unfair the way they’re treating the people of Wrexham and visitors.
“People have contacted me and said they won’t be using it and they’re going to boycott it.
“That’s sometimes what’s needed to put a little bit of pressure on companies to listen.
“Everybody understands they’ve got to manage car parks, but I think they’re issuing tickets and fines out when people are just using it as a turning point or to visit the station.
“We will be getting in touch with them and we are asking for a meeting with them to sit down and resolve this situation moving forward.”
The car park is operated on a pay and display basis, but drivers who visited the shopping centre for short periods before the cameras were installed said they were not penalised.
It is understood shoppers at the retail park are meant to be given a ten minute grace period before needing to buy a ticket, however some say this is either not being adhered to or is not long enough.
They include Jamie Harper from Wrexham, who was fined after visiting the car park to pick up a family member from the train station.
He said: “I attended the Island Green car park at 5.45pm to pick up an elderly relative from the train station, who was due to arrive at 5.55pm.
“The train was running slightly late and he arrived at 6.05pm.
“I left the car park at 6.07pm and subsequently, a week later I received a penalty charge notice from Euro Car Parks for £90.”
Mr Harper said the nearest parking machine to him was out of order and he has since launched an appeal to the company.
The penalty amount can be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days of the issue date.
But opposition politicians in the county borough also feel the situation needs to be resolved.
Plaid Cymru councillor Carrie Harper said: “People are getting more and more annoyed at the fines being issued.
“It’s people picking up and dropping off, it’s people complaining they’ve actually bought tickets and been fined anyway or that machines have been out of order.
“It does seem to be that the fines are dished out like Smarties and are quite difficult to challenge”
Euro Car Parks has been approached for comment.
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).
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