Motorists visiting Wigan town centre could be stung with an £80 fine despite paying the correct parking charge.
According to reports, some town centre customers parking at the Grand Arcade car park have been sent parking notices informing them they have not paid, even when they have.
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Numerous drivers have been posting warnings about the parking to social media.
One motorist received a fine three weeks after using the APCOA-run facility, despite having proof that she had paid for the parking on her bank card.
Angry Wiganers were quick to comment on hearing news of the unwarranted and seemingly random charges.
Alan Cuerden said: “I’ve been expecting this to happen since they changed the parking system. I’ve kept all my receipts. Not sure if APCOA is dodgy, incompetent or both.”
Annette Stuart-Cole added: “If you’ve got solid proof you’ll be fine. Like I say, you don’t even get an acknowledgement it’s been cleared off their system, or a sorry.”
Another motorist, Sharon Hallam, said that she had been stung for a £40 fine for not displaying a ticket she had already purchased on exiting the car park. Many were quick to point out that there is “no instruction” to display the ticket as you leave. “I still have ticket but probably useless to appeal,” she wrote.
“I probably didn’t realise you had to display ticket after payment when leaving. Just wanted to warn other people”.
Another motorist, who has also been fined by the company, said: “ I am so angry that I have to mess about with all this when I paid. I am going to put a complaint in with the centre as well because how many more of these letters am I going to end up with if it’s not fixed."
APCOA, which controls the multi-storey platforms on Millgate and Crompton Street, has already come under fire for upping the cost of parking last year.
Drivers must pay a minimum of £3.10 for up to two hours. The cost then goes up to £4 for three hours, £5 for four hours, £11 for six hours and £12 for up to 24 hours between Monday and Saturday.
On top of the increased charges, motorists remain skeptical about the installation of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), which came into force earlier this year.
Diane Smile commented: “I haven’t seen anywhere that says you have to display the ticket. Surely the whole point of number recognition is that it also knows that you have paid.” APCOA have not yet responded to a query from the Wigan Post.
A spokesperson for APCOA said:“The system at the Grand Arcade makes parking smoother for motorists and the number of Parking Charge Notices issues remains very low. We will of course investigate any problems through our appeals process.”