When is a bank holiday not a bank holiday?

The Meridian Centre in Havant
The Meridian Centre in Havant
The late Sir Bruce Forsyth

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  • Tricia Cane received a fine for not buying parking ticket on December 26
  • She thought the free bank holiday parking sign meant she did not have to pay
  • But parking firm pointed out Boxing Day bank holiday was actually December 28
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A ROW broke out after a parking firm fined people who did not pay for tickets because they confused Boxing Day for a bank holiday.

The sign in the Meridian Centre car park, in Havant, states parking is free on Sundays and bank holidays.

Tricia Cane

Tricia Cane

Last year Boxing Day was on a Saturday, so the bank holiday – with free parking – was the following Monday.

But Tricia Cane, 64, assumed that December 26 was the bank holiday.

She went to Havant town centre to hit the sales and parked in the car park at the Meridian shopping centre.

A week later, she received a fine of £60, rising to £100 if she does not pay.

If they felt a charge should be levied, on what the rest of the country considered to be Boxing Day, then there should have been a sign to that effect

Tricia Cane

Parking Eye, the company which owns the car park, says she should have paid the usual Saturday rate.

But after initially standing its ground, Parking Eye agreed to rescind the ‘small number’ of fines it handed out when The News stepped in.

Ms Cane, an accounting assistant from Leigh Park, said: ‘Not all the shops were open, which means many of the companies considered December 26 a bank holiday.

‘There were a good number of cars parked so I don’t believe I was the only one. I can see their point in one sense because there was an additional bank holiday,

‘But if they felt a charge should be levied, on what the rest of the country considered to be Boxing Day, then there should have been a sign to that effect.’

She added: ‘I’m pleased they have rescinded the fine but I’d have fought it out. I just hope nobody has paid it.

‘I think they took a very Scrooge-like stance at first.’

In a statement Parking Eye said: ‘As a gesture of festive goodwill, we will cancel the very small number of charges that were issued on Saturday, December 26.

‘We will, however, continue to follow industry best practice by informing people of our parking terms and conditions, which clearly state that parking is free on Sundays and bank holidays.’