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Newark Retail Park carparking fines victory after investigation by the Advertiser



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People who received fines after parking at a Newark retail park are set to get a refund following an investigation by the Advertiser.

The managing agents of Northgate Retail Park admitted that people have been fined unnecessarily for more than a month because an instruction to support local businesses in difficult trading conditions was not acted upon.

Banks Long & Co changed the restrictions at the park more than a month ago to allow people a three-hour free stay, which allowed them to walk off-site to shop elsewhere.

DONNA BROADLEY, owner of Donna B's Tasty Bites, thanked the Advertiser.
DONNA BROADLEY, owner of Donna B's Tasty Bites, thanked the Advertiser.

However, enforcement company UKCPS has not changed the carpark signs and people have continued to be fined for leaving the site, even for a matter of minutes.

Banks Long was surprised to hear this when contacted by the Advertiser and promised to insist UKCPS change the signs immediately in line with its instruction, and said anyone issued with a fine for walking off site since April 1 but returning within three hours would be given a refund.

“We have implemented the parking system because people were using the carpark to walk to Northgate Station and go to London for the day, which isn’t helping anyone in Newark,” said Sarah Petteffar, of Banks Long & Co.

THE signs have still not been replaced by UKCPS, which has now been asked to review all its fines issued from April 1.
THE signs have still not been replaced by UKCPS, which has now been asked to review all its fines issued from April 1.

“We had complaints from our tenants at the retail park that they didn’t have enough spaces for their customers to park.

“We instructed UKCPS to monitor the carpark and initially started issuing fines of people leaving the carpark, which some said was having an adverse effect on business. A new system was put in place at the end of March and people can now park there for a maximum of three hours and come and go as they please.”

Parking enforcement was originally brought in without consultation or notification.

The Advertiser has been inundated with complaints ever since, mostly from people fined for leaving the retail park on foot.

COUNTY councillor Debbie Darby has said local businesses need all the support they can get.
COUNTY councillor Debbie Darby has said local businesses need all the support they can get.

Karen O’Brien was fined three times.

Mrs O’Brien was driven to the retail park by her husband and because he was classed as the designated driver, he was deemed to be breaking the policy by riding his bike off-site before Mrs O’Brien then drove the car home.

And, because they did this on three occasions, they were fined three times — a total of £180, which they have now paid for fear of being taken to court.

Businesses in the immediate area, such as café Donna B’s Tasty Bites, said they were losing trade because of the restrictions.

On being told of the results of the Advertiser’s investigation, owner Donna Broadley said: “This is absolutely brilliant news. I am completely over the moon.

“Thank you and the Advertiser, I really do appreciate it — everyone has been talking about the fines and parking.

“People will be able to come to me across the road again when parked at the retail park, which I’m really pleased about.”

County councillor Debbie Darby had said independent businesses nearby, none of whom were a threat to the big chains at the retail park, needed support.

“These businesses need all the help they can get,” she said.

Ms Petteffar said anyone fined for leaving the site during the three-hour window from April 1 would be refunded and that UKCPS would be instructed to do an audit to find those affected.

“I will contact UKCPS to update the signage,” she said. “We want to do everything we can to help support businesses, especially in this climate, and think three hours for free is very generous.”

Landowner Limes Estates said it was commonplace to enforce a parking policy.

“Some will make a charge and we have not done that, but are enforcing a parking policy,” said a spokesman.

UKCPS was approached for comment.

If you’ve been issued a fine for walking off-site since April 1, email a.hunt@newarkadvertiser.co.uk so we can help get your money back.



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