Retail park shoppers fined £100 after being trapped in car park gridlock


Easter bank holiday shoppers have been hit with £100 fines after getting stuck in traffic in a gridlocked car park.

Parking cameras at the Ashford Retail Park in Kent became operational in April to aid the enforcement of a new three-hour maximum stay.

However, shoppers were trapped in heavy traffic in the car park on Easter Monday, causing them to be stuck on the site for hours as the attempted to leave.

Three weeks later, Peter Donald, from Kingsnorth, Kent, was hit with a £100 fine for exceeding the three-hour time limit.

He told the Daily Mail: "We went about our normal business. We were probably there about an hour and a half. We came out of Costa and it was absolutely gridlocked.

"My family and I were stranded in a gridlocked car park when trying to leave. We were in our car in excess of about two hours. No one was letting anyone out. There were people parking up on the main road."

Donald explained that it took them 20 minutes just to get out of their parking space.

Despite the heavy traffic, he still received a penalty charge notice – which he intends to appeal.

He told the newspaper: "On Monday we received a penalty charge notice from Highview Parking who enforce the three-hour time limit on parking at this site. They must have had a flood of penalty charge notices from this day.

"What troubles me is that there's no quality control. It was utter madness. It's just a money making exercise.

"I find it rather disappointing that these companies apply no common sense or quality control to their issuing of parking fines to innocent motorists who have over stayed due to no fault of their own."

Highview Parking was contacted for comment.