Wrexham couple fined by private car parking firm over toilet stop

Reporter:

Thomas Morton

A PENSIONER given a £90 parking fine for stopping to use the toilet is now being threatened with court action despite paying up.

Patricia Hughes, of Ruabon, was upset to discover she had been fined after parking up on Mount Street car park, Wrexham, for just 15 minutes.

Mrs Hughes, 69, had intended to visit Colour Supplies, but felt unwell and due to a medical condition had to use Debenhams toilet facilities in Eagles Meadow.

After returning to her car 15 minutes later she decided to return home, but was shocked to discover she had been fined by UK Parking Control (UKPC) for walking away and not using the shops the car park is meant for.

Mrs Hughes and her husband Ray appealed against the fine, which was reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days, but were told it would only be considered if receipts were produced proving Mrs Hughes had visited shops covered by the car park.

Mr Hughes promptly sent a cheque for £50 and despite the cheque being cashed the couple are still receiving letters demanding payment.

The couple have received several letters from the company threatening court action as well as a letter from a debt recovery company.

Mr Hughes said the only way such tactics would stop is if more people came forward and complained.

“I want to know how many people have been affected,” he added.

“Traders may even be losing a huge amount of business because people will not go there again.”

Mr Hughes is now looking at taking his case to a traffic penalties tribunal.

Cllr Mark Pritchard, who has represented constituents stung with parking fines on Mount Street in the past, is furious.

He said: “I think it’s a disgrace that they treat people this way and they show no consideration for people with health issues.

Susan Elan Jones, MP for Clwyd South, is also lending her support to the Hughes’ case. She said: “It is ridiculous to fine an individual £90 for a five minute stop and it is clear that there were special circumstances involved with this case.

“The fact that UKPC continues to ignore Mr Hughes’ appeals and absolutely refuses to discuss the matter with him is disappointing and unfair.

“The companies’ unresponsive attitude is extremely unsatisfactory and I am working with Mr Hughes to try and assist as much as I can.”

Officers at Wrexham Trading Standards advised members of the public to always read the terms and conditions on car park signs.

UKPC said it was looking into the circumstances.

See full story in the Leader

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