Wigan driver receives parking fine despite paying

Val Williams with her ticket and the fine
Val Williams with her ticket and the fine

A motorist was furious after receiving a car parking fine - despite having proof that she paid the charge.

Val Williams received the parking charge notice after using the car park at the Grand Arcade shopping centre in Wigan.

The 72-year-old parked there while visiting the town centre and went to the pay machine before leaving.

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Mrs Williams, who lives in Ashton, said: “That particular day it was only £1.64 because I only wanted to nip to Marks & Spencer to take something back. I paid it.

“For some reason I remember someone telling me to keep the receipt because this had happened to them before.”

So Mrs Williams kept the receipt in the back of her purse and did the same when she returned to the same car park the following week.

But a few weeks later she received a parking charge notice relating to her visit.

It showed photographs of her vehicle arriving and leaving the car park.

The letter said she would have to pay £80, or £40 if it was paid within two weeks.

She said: “I was devastated. You start questing yourself.

“My husband asked if I had paid and at first I couldn’t find my ticket, but I did find it in my purse in the end. I was relieved.

“Of course I paid. I’m not one for going in a car park without paying.”

Mrs Williams said the letter included a phone number to call to pay the fine and an address to send a letter of appeal.

She phoned but could not speak to anyone about appealing the fine.

But she has now decided she will not write a letter to appeal against it, even though she is worried about what will happen

Grandmother Mrs Williams said: “Why should I write a letter and fork out to appeal?

“Why should I pay for anything like that when I have not done anything wrong?”

Mrs Williams has vowed not to return to the car park, even though she finds it to be in an ideal location for her needs.

And she wants other drivers to know what happened so they can be cautious when using the car park.

Mrs Williams said: “I want to make people aware that they should keep their tickets. They are all over the floor.

“It’s only because someone mentioned it to me that I kept mine.”

The Grand Arcade’s car park has been subject to many complaints since the charging system was changed last year.

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.

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

In November the Observer reported that drivers had complained of receiving fines, despite paying the correct fee.

The car park is run by APCOA, but the firm did not provide a response to what had happened when contacted by the Observer.