The parking company at the centre of a row over fines at Stratford’s Maybrook Retail Park has been forced into an embarrassing U-Turn following a wave of criticism from shoppers.
Over recent weeks motorists have complained of receiving fines at the recently refurbished park after, arguing that warnings that people should not leave the site were small and unclear.
It was alleged that employees from the parking management company UKPC were observing shoppers walking off the site and immediately placing penalty notices on their vehicles.
As there is easy access for pedestrians from the Maybrook Car Park to neighbouring stores such as B&M Bargains, some were puzzled to receive the fines.
However in recent days the warnings at the Maybrook Car Park about leaving the site have been covered up and the rule, which had been branded as a ‘money making scam’ by one victim, has been abandoned.
Last week a spokesperson for UKPC said: “We can confirm that following discussions with JLL, UKPC will no longer be issuing for this specific contravention on site and therefore it has been removed from our signage at Maybrook Retail Park.
“UKPC will look to refund any charges where car park users can confirm they were a genuine shopper. Any evidence to support their visit for example a receipt can be submitted to UKPC’s complaints email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The company refused to say whether those who have paid fines would have their money refunded or whether those who have been issued with penalties but have yet to pay, would have them cancelled.
The issue was highlighted by the Herald and on social media, where a number of victims had vented their anger.
Mark Stevens, who was issued with a fine, said: “I think its great news that they’ve dropped this rule, it goes to show the power of the little people, how we are able to get together and make a difference. I would like to thank everyone who stood up against this company because it was a totally stupid rule and I’m glad they have now done the right thing. In these times when people are meant to be encouraged to walk, it seems so silly to punish people who choose to walk to the shop next door, rather than drive.”