MOTORISTS have hit out at the owner of a retail park after it brought in tough new parking rules.
Drivers who use Central Retail Park in Havant and go off site will be hit with a £100 fine.
Fiona Charlesworth left the site for 15 minutes. The garden designer said she was shocked when she returned to her car to find a parking warden had slapped a charge on her windscreen.
Mrs Charlesworth, from Rowlands Castle, said: ’I’ve parked there many times before because I pop in Aldi and also pop into the town.
‘I was in a real rush and quickly glanced at the sign and noticed it had changed from three to two hours parking only. The wording on the sign telling you that you can’t leave the site is small and I didn’t see it. I was horrified to see the fine.
‘If they wanted to change the rules they needed to put a big notice up warning people.
‘I received £100 for my “awful crime”, which is totally out of proportion.
‘I’m going to fight this. I’m prepared to go to court if I have to. I won’t go there again to use Aldi, I’ll go to Tesco, so Aldi will miss out.’
UK Parking, which has taken over the car park, reduces the fine to £60 if it is paid in two weeks.
Dennis Ansell, from Leigh Park, complained to Havant Borough Council about the changes but there is nothing the council can do because it is privately owned by UBS Global.
Mr Ansell said: ‘For many years on Tuesdays and Saturdays we’ve parked in the car park where Aldi and Wickes are located. It was three hours free parking.
‘We always shop in Aldi, sometimes Wickes, then walk across the road to West Street.
‘Since the car park was taken over on July 20 we haven’t been able to do that.
‘Why should we bother to visit Havant any more? We can do all we want do in Asda, Bedhampton or Tesco, Havant with free parking.’
Permit holders, such as cricket club members, are not affected by the changes.
There is a legal agreement protecting permit holders.
Jones Lang LaSalle, managing agent for Central Retail Park, said: ‘A number of businesses in the park have voiced their concerns that genuine customers have been unable to use the car park to park their vehicles due to misuse from non-customers.
‘We welcome shoppers and our customers are still able to park for free for a maximum of two hours.’