A FED-up store manager in Evesham has spoken out over a "nightmare" car park that is causing misery for shoppers in the town.
We have reported how drivers have been left angry and frustrated after receiving parking fines at the Swan Lane car park, despite buying tickets.
Many say even though they have done nothing wrong, their appeals to Civil Enforcement, the company which has issued the fines, fall on deaf ears.
Now Jonny Routledge, manager of Just For Pets, in Swan Lane, has told the Journal that he shares the shoppers' frustration.
He says he has held several meetings with Creative Car Park, the company which manages the site, but it has always been "unhelpful".
Mr Routledge says Just For Pets and the Co-Op store next to the car park have a five-year deal on the car park, agreed by their landlord.
But that will expire next year and he says there is no intention of renewing it.
"It has been a nightmare for us, people always think that it is us that manage the car park," he said. "We have had several meetings with the car parking company, but they are always very unhelpful, I think that they realise they can make more money from parking fines than customers parking there.
"We have the opportunity in a few months to give notice that we will not extend the car park's deal which we will definitely be doing."
Although shoppers have had little joy with direct representations to Civil Enforcement, Mr Routledge is urging anyone with a grievance to contact him – saying the store can usually stop fines resulting from genuine mistakes from having to be paid.
"Nine times out of ten we can overturn fines that are genuine mistakes, the vast majority of cases are because of people putting in the wrong registration number," he said. "Although I only have a certain number of fines I can overturn each month and sometimes these run out."
The car park used to offer free parking for two hours, but Mr Routledge said that was changed as too many people not using the two stores were parking there, meaning customers missed out.
A camera system has also been introduced, which means that anyone who enters the wrong registration number is not recognised as parking there, while disabled badge holders still have to pay.
Mr Routledge added: "We have put reminders on the car park machines to let people know to make sure they put the right registration number in, however, the car park owners take those down because we do not have permission."
No-one from the Co-Op or Creative Car Park was available for comment, despite requests from the Journal.