Cinema firm issues an apology for problems with car park tickets and lack of lighting

Britannia Parking

Britannia Parking - Credit: Archant

Drivers are continuing to experience problems in two town centre car parks which are run by national operator Britannia Parking.

One reader, who was convinced he had received a ticket in error at the car park behind Beales, but paid anyway, has described the parking company’s approach as “heavy handed”.

Ken Edwards, 86, and his wife Valerie, 83, of Eaton Ford, parked in the Beales car park on December 17 last year and although Mr Edwards is convinced he did not over-stay, he received a £60 fine on December 22 and has since been threatened with court action.

“We use the car park every week and I am certain we were back in time, but we are of a generation that thinks if you owe money you should pay it, not try and wriggle out of it,” he said.

“I wanted to challenge it, but my wife was frightened and upset so I just paid it - I sent them a cheque.”

Mr Edwards then received another letter on January 22, this time from a debt-recovery company which was threatening him with court action.

“I have checked with our bank and the cheque had already been cashed so I couldn’t understand what had happened,” explained Mr Edwards.

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“It all seems very heavy-handed, considering I had paid the fine a few days after receiving the penalty notice. This has really upset my wife.”

Meanwhile, Cineworld, at the Rowley Arts Centre, has been forced to issue an apology to its customers due to problems with the car park’s two ticket machines and there have also been problems with the lighting. This car park is also operated by Britannia Parking.

Cineworld issued a customer notice on January 27, apologising for problems with its ticket machines and even took the step of suggesting customers park elsewhere.

The cinema chain said: “We have been aware that the payment machines are not operating as they should and the lights are not working either, leaving the car park in darkness. Whilst we do not own or operate the car park, and are therefore limited in what we can do, we have been trying our best to get these issues rectified.

“In the meantime, please be extremely careful walking in the car park when it is dark and if the machines are not functioning please be advised that payment can be made online up to 24 hours after parking. We apologise for any inconvenience, we appreciate this is not ideal and we will be ensuring that the effect on our business and our customers as a result of this is made very clear to the relevant people.”

The Hunts Post contacted Mr Edwards on Tuesday as the paper went to press and he had still not received a response from Britannia Parking or the debt-recovery company.

Britannia Parking were asked for a response, but in a reply to our e-mail said they would respond within the next 14 days, but had not done so before the paper went to press.