Clwyd South AM Ken Skates is warning shoppers not to fall foul of parking penalty charges in Oswestry after a couple in their 80s were hit with a £70 bill for ‘an innocent mistake’.
Mr Skates was asked for help after the elderly husband and wife from his constituency were told they had breached regulations at the Aldi store in Beatrice Street, Oswestry.
The couple’s fine was cancelled after the AM contacted Aldi.
But he now wants to make sure others are aware of the system, operated by private firm Parking Eye, which requires customers at some stores to input their registration details at in-store terminals.
“This couple didn’t deny their ‘offence’ – failing to enter their registration number into the machine – but made an innocent mistake,” he said.
“They were visiting the area and were unaware of the rules as neither of their two local stores in the Wrexham area operates this system.
“The gentlemen accepted his mistake but was a legitimate customer and was threatened with a fine which would have seen his small shop of less than £12 end up costing him and his wife a further £70 for what, at worst, is a very minor indiscretion.
“They appealed the charge with help from their family, but it was rejected.
“All we were asking for was some common sense and goodwill.”
Mr Skates attempted to take the issue up directly with Parking Eye and ‘appeal to their better nature’ as the couple were confused and anxious about situation.
He said: “They were uninterested and dismissive in the extreme.
“Fortunately Aldi were very understanding and I’m very grateful to their customer services team for their help in getting this matter resolved and providing peace of mind for my constituents.
“I’d like to make sure people are aware of this type of system and the fines they could receive. We managed to get this one overturned, but others may not be so fortunate.”
A ParkingEye spokesperson said: “ParkingEye manages car parks on behalf of its clients and adheres to their parking policies. In this case, Aldi decided to cancel the parking charge as a gesture of goodwill.”
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