Councillor takes on Wigan parking ticket woes

Motorists left frustrated by parking charges and “over-complicated” ticket machines at a Wigan car park, now have the backing of a councillor.
Paul KennyPaul Kenny
Paul Kenny

Coun Paul Kenny (pictured)has stepped in after being contacted by several constituents regarding the car park at the Grand Arcade shopping centre.

The multi-storey car park, which is run by APCOA Parking, has been the subject of numerous complaints in recent months.

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In particular, irritation has been expressed over the three-week wait for the company to send out penalty charge notices (PCN) to those alleged to have contravened the car park’s rules because the customers are likely to have ditched tickets that could be used to challenge them.

Drivers used to collect a token as they entered the car park and took it to a pay machine before they left to find out how much they owed.

But the new system sees motorists entering their car’s registration number into a machine when they are ready to leave.

The change has seen many a driver unwittingly fill out their car details wrong or pay an incorrect amount for their stay, then receiving a charge through the post weeks later.

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Anger over the issue has repeatedly come to the attention of the Observer and sister title, the Wigan Post, with scores of people sharing their struggles with the car park.

Now, the frustration for some drivers has become so bad that some residents have contacted the councillor for Winstanley, for support.

Coun Kenny said: “I am concerned that this is not an isolated incident and that anecdotal evidence from social media suggests that many people have received PCNs having paid for parking using what my constituent called an ‘unnecessarily over complicated pay machine.”

He added: “I have written to APCOA requesting that they look at this issue as a matter of urgency.

“At the very least they should refund my constituent and other customers who have paid for parking but have received a PCN.”

APCOA was contacted for comment but failed to respond.