Anger at £100 fine for parking for less than FIVE minutes
PUBLISHED: 16:27 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:23 20 December 2019
A nurse has been fined £100 after parking for less than five minutes in a town car park.
Jacqueline Welton, a nursing assistant at Norfolk and Norfolk University Hospital, parked in Queen's Square, Attleborough, which has been used by those visiting the town for years to vote at the town sports hall.
But unknown to her, owners of the car park, M&Co, which has a store on the high street, had recently started parking enforcement resulting in an £100 fine for her four minutes 40 seconds of parking.
The 50-year-old said: "I could not believe it. I was there for literally four minutes and I looked at the signs and thought I had two and a half hours but there are cameras which then follow people to see if they go into the store.
"There was about 10 pictures of following me where I went. I walked into the sports hall, put a cross in the box and went back to my car.
"A week later I come home sick with a fine for £100, a very Merry Christmas."
Ms Welton is not the only driver to be caught out. Many in the town have reported receiving fines after visiting the car park.
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Gavin Thorne, 32, stopped while his partner picked up a prescription. He was there for about 12 minutes.
The tanker driver said: "It's always been a car park where everyone can park, no-one knew it belonged to M&Co.
"A few days later I received a fine for parking for 12 minutes. It obviously isn't clear enough with the signs, there's no lighting there either, so many people have been fined.
"If an elderly person has to pickup prescriptions, a £100 fine for an elderly person, especially over Christmas, it's basically their heating bill.
"They introduced it with no warning letters right before Christmas. I can understand if someone had parked there for 10 hours but we are talking about 12 minutes."
A petition has been created on Change.org with the hope M&Co will reconsider the parking fines. A goal of 500 signatures has been set and with just a day of it being created it had reached more than 480.
A spokesman for M&Co said: "To ensure our customers can benefit from our parking facilities in Attleborough, our car park is now being privately managed by a third party.
"We've unfortunately experienced issues with commuter full day parking and some of our customers have been inconvenienced with their car being blocked in the car park. Furthermore we've have had to take this step to ensure our delivery vehicles have access at all times of the day and our store's emergency exits are kept clear.
"In view of public comments, we are investigating pay and display options with the parking operator."