Schools concert-goers hit with parking charge

The new Pay and Display car parking now up and running at Robin Park Arena and Sports Centre
The new Pay and Display car parking now up and running at Robin Park Arena and Sports Centre

Parents were left furious after returning from a school concert to find their cars had been given parking tickets despite claims they were unaware of any parking restrictions.

Parents and guardians had attended the WOWS Music Festival - a biannual multi-school musical event - last Thursday, March 23.

But after a fun-filled couple of hours, they were stunned to find tickets on their windshields outside the Robin
 Park Arena, where authorities began operating a Pay and Display enforcement just 
over a fortnight earlier on March 7.

But concerns were raised by members of the public over what they believed to be a lack of warning about the new rules.

Parent Jim Gaskell vented his vented his frustration after he narrowly avoided picking up a ticket himself.

The 68-year-old from Worsley Mesnes was also attending his young daughter’s performance at the 
WOWS festival, on the same evening, between 6.30-8.30pm.

Jim, a regular visitor to Robin Park, including the retail park and leisure centres, was unaware of the recently enforced parking limits.

He said he wouldn’t have known about the restrictions had he not seen a commotion unfolding in the car park that evening.

He said: “We parked up at about 6pm. As we were heading over to the arena, I noticed a few people were mulling about. They were muttering things along the lines of ‘this is ridiculous’.”

Jim only realised he would have to pay for parking after speaking to other parents who were also attending the same festival.

“There were no signs saying there were new parking restrictions,” Jim added.

“I’d been in the arena for about 10 minutes, when I had to go back to the car to get something for my daughter.

“As I entered the car park, there was already a parking attendant putting tickets on the windshields.”

A spokesman from Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, which manages the Robin Park facilities, refuted Jim’s claims.

They stated that clear signage was in place when entering all car parking 
areas at Robin Park Arena and the Robin Park Sports Centre, including “distinct pay station notices to highlight the requirement to pay for parking.”

They added: “Guidance was taken from Wigan Council’s parking services in 
relation to the location, installation and positioning of all signage.”