Author Topic: Overstay in Derby car park cost mum more than £8 - per MINUTE!  (Read 3055 times)

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Overstay in Derby car park cost mum more than £8 - per MINUTE!

A MUM was flabbergasted when an overstay on a city car park cost her a staggering £8.30 – A MINUTE!

Lisa Whittaker took her daughter to a new trampoline centre at Pride Park – but was 12 minutes late back to her car. Three days later she got a note posted to her Hilton home to say she had been hit by a £100 fine. It was issued by firm Parking Eye, for overstaying the two-hour limit at the Pride Park car park by just 12 minutes – working out at £8.30 for each minute. Ms Whittaker was taking her daughter Safiya to the new Oxygen Freejumping centre.

Ms Whittaker, of Hamble Way, said: "For a one-hour session we were advised to arrive half an hour earlier. So at 12.29pm we entered the car park for a session at 1pm. After a fabulous and energetic one-hour session we left Oxygen Freejumping just after 2pm and decided to grab lunch at Subway next door. We then left the car park at 2.42pm to return home after a great day out. I then received a £100 parking charge from Parking Eye, as they only authorise a maximum two-hour stay and I overstayed this by just 12 minutes.

"Yes granted I did not notice any time limit, and therefore I am duly responsible for going a mere 12 minutes over, but what an absolute disgrace to allow this stringent limitation. I am disgusted that this parking charge would be enforced on a day out with my daughter using the facilities on offer – I'd like to warn other customers so they don't get caught out in the same way."

John Gallifant, regional group operations manager for Oxygen Freejumping, said: "The car park is managed and operated by Parking Eye on behalf of our landlords DW Fitness. Its introduction was deemed necessary to help manage the ongoing issue of parking within the Pride Park complex. Due to Pride Park's popularity with businesses, football traffic, and recreational users parking spaces come at a premium.

"Indeed the shared car park would often be full with minimal customers utilising the Powerleague or DW facilities. This caused issues for paying customers not being able to park in the direct vicinity of either Powerleague or the DW facilities.

"Oxygen Freejumping were only made aware of the introduction of the new parking restriction around the time of our Derby site launching. Due to the nature of our activities we have worked hard to put measures in place to inform our customers about the two-hour limit so that they can come and enjoy themselves without worrying about any limitations.

"In doing so we have managed to negotiate an extended time frame for our customers on the provision they input their car registration within a mobile unit at our reception, and we have a further three units being installed in the next few weeks.

A temporary machine has been installed for Oxygen customers to register their vehicles for an extra two-hour stay

"We have also placed clear signage within our reception and cafe areas and currently announce to our customers over our tannoy system. We have also kept a close watch on social media to be proactive in speaking to our customers if they are affected by the parking limitation.

"However, due to the late notice surrounding the installation of this parking enforcement not all of our measures were in place as we would have liked. Subsequently, any guests of Oxygen Freejumping that have been sent a fine due to staying over the two-hour limit can easily appeal by providing proof of their entry to Oxygen via their booking confirmation, receipt or card statement which will not be challenged.

"Our customers can email cst@oxygenfreejumping. or drop into site and speak to one of our staff who will be more than happy to help. For the inconvenience, and impact on experience, we are offering a free session on us with a pizza for the family too. Since learning about Lisa's experience we have made contact with her and extended this offer as an apology for any inconvenience caused and welcome anyone else in the same situation to contact us for help in getting a swift resolution for them."

A spokeswoman for Subway said: "All Subway stores are owned and operated by independent franchisees. The car park adjacent to the Subway store at Pride Park, Derby is owned and controlled by the landlords and their agents who are best placed to address this issue. We are sympathetic to the unfortunate experience of the customer and hope that this will not prevent her from visiting the store again in the future."

Customers using DW Fitness have criticised the car parking restrictions, saying it can be easy to get caught out, particularly when it is dark.

A mum-of-two from Derby, who asked not to be named, said: "The first time I brought the kids here I thought to myself 'you could easily go over two hours', if you went for a meal after visiting the football pitches or the trampoline centre I can see how you could go over. Luckily I've never slipped up, but it's really difficult to spot the signs in the dark, when you'd think the restrictions wouldn't be in force."

And John Sharpe, 26, from Derby, said: "I come to Power League twice a week, it's annoying when you can't get a space, so I'm glad they're ticketing people for breaking the rules. It shouldn't put off genuine visitors because you can put your number plate through when you get inside if you need extra time."

A Parking Eye spokesman said: "We encourage people who have received a parking charge to appeal if they think there are mitigating circumstances, and instructions about how to do this are detailed on all communications and on our website. Parking Eye is a member of the British Parking Association (BPA) and follows its code of practice with respect to signage."

Ben Daeffler, known locally as Captain Football, runs a soccer school on the 5-a-side pitches at DW Fitness. He says he supports the parking restrictions, and that people parking at the centre for Rams matches were depriving customers of spaces.

He said: "The parking situation was so bad. I've had to cut the sessions right back now and I only run morning classes now – it got to the point where only one kid was showing up – parents were telling me they just couldn't get parked up to drop off their kids.

"Those guys who were genuinely in the centre for a little too long can get their money back, but if you're going over the extended four-hours you're just taking the Mick."


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