Fed-up Wigan shoppers left hot under collar by car park

Fed-up motorists were left hot under the collar after being held up inside a controversial Wigan car park - on one of the most sweltering days of the year.

Tuesday, 10th July 2018, 10:05 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:02 pm
Millgate car park in Wigan

Dozens of drivers were left queueing on one of the main floors at the Millgate car park, next to the Grand Arcade, after a machine malfunctioned there.

Staff from the nearby Debenham’s tried to help before an official for car park owners APCOA was able to step in.

The Millgate car park has been a source of frustration for town centre shoppers after the system there was changed from token exit to an ANPR backed regime.

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Motorists have bombarded the Wigan Post to complain about the ANPR system, with a number protesting that they have been left facing penalty charges.

This is despite apparently paying the appropriate fee.

Drivers’ registration numbers are automatically recorded when they enter the car park, via security cameras.

On returning to their vehicles, users are asked to enter three digits of their registration number, and then confirm their details using a keypad.

Janet Hopkinson, from Standish, said: “We went to pay, after shopping, and there was a queue about a mile long.

“One of the machines was broken and there wasn’t anyone about to help at first.

“We rang the alarm bell for assistance and eventually someone came.

“But they ummed and ahhed and people were getting frustrated because they were melting inside there, and they would have to pay more.

“We had to wait a very long time for the car park man to work out what was wrong.

“Eventually he managed to fix it. But because it’s such a complicated system, people were still kept waiting for ages.”

A spokesman on behalf of APCOA said: “One of the machines at the car park was offline for 30 minutes on June 30. But this was fixed and there have been no problems since.”