Published On: Sun, Feb 11th, 2024
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Retail park launches parking rule ‘like a spider’s web’ to catch out drivers | UK | News

A retail park has been slammed for setting up parking rules “like a spider’s web” to catch out drivers.

The Peel Centre in Gloucester has hit dozens of drivers with £100 fines since bringing in stricter parking restrictions at the end of 2023, with new rules meaning shoppers can only stay for two hours and those who walk off the site are fined even if they are within the time limit.

One man who received a fine at the shopping area in the city’s St Ann’s Way says he was only parked for 20 minutes but fined as he walked to the Clarks shop at the adjacent Gloucester Quays after finishing his shopping at the Peel Centre.

Phil Stephens, who says he spends hundreds of pounds at the site every year, told Gloucestershire Live the parking signs, put up by operators Ocean Parking, were not clear enough and did not explain that the rules had changed.

He said: “It is set up like a spider’s web to catch people. It’s so clever of these guys.

“To me it’s cut and dry, those signs are not clear. There seems to be a view that the signage is simply not fit for purpose and Ocean Parking are being overzealous.

“I’ve appealed to Ocean Parking who turned it down and have appealed further to Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA).”

Over the Christmas period, Mr Stephens said he spent an hour at the site warning drivers not to walk off as they would be fined despite sticking to the time limit.

He added: “It’s conservative to say that in a busy period there would be a driver a minute ‘abusing’ their conditions. I warned a few, all of whom were oblivious of the ‘don’t leave site’ rule.”

Gloucester City Council leader Richard Cook has now requested a meeting with retail park bosses to discuss the issue, saying they should focus on those who abuse the time limit.

A spokesman for the retail park’s operator Peel, said that the retail park is one of the few free car parks in the city and the decision to restrict parking had been “well-received” across social media.

He said the changes had been made to ensure that genuine customers of the retail park can find convenient spaces.

Ocean Parking has not responded to Gloucester Live’s request for comment.

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