Drivers hit with parking charges

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A few years ago this newspaper was hearing from aggrieved motorists who were slapped with parking fees when visiting Cumbernauld Town Centre.

Within the last few weeks people who parked at the car park for Burger King, Blockbusters and Indigo Sun for over an hour have been getting invoiced for £70 with the threat of this being increased unless repaid quickly.

One of those drivers was 70-year-old grandmother Margaret Neill from Westerwood. “I parked there to visit Burger King with my grandchildren. I liked to take the kids there because of the soft play area. But it took 18 minutes to get served and then I got a parking ticket. There was only one sign up at the time but now they’re everywhere. I won’t be going back to Burger King after this, and I used to go on a pretty regular basis so they’re sure to be losing trade because of this.”

Local Citizens’ Advice manager Ian Eadie said: “We’ve had a few queries about similar notices but not at that particular car park. We can’t tell people not to pay but the chances of actually being prosecuted are low. They seem to rely on strongly-worded follow up letters without any real legal weight behind them. Only the police and the council have legal power to impose parking fees.”

Adam Smith of Cumbernauld Community Forum added: “There are cameras at Dominos which take pictures of each car entering and leaving the car park at Burger King, Blockbusters, and Indigo Sun and anyone parking over an hour has been receiving a letter warning of a fine to be paid. Our advice is not to pay as the fines are not enforceable.”