The seething parent said she assumed it would be okay to use the car park for a few minutes whilst no customers were around and has insisted she won’t pay the fine
A fuming mum is refusing to pay a £160 fine for parking in a restaurant’s car park ‘for five minutes’ while she nipped into a nearby shop.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said she parked in a car park owned by the Forts of India restaurant in Whitefield, Manchester, whilst it was closed – as there was nowhere else to leave her car.
The mum, who says she assumed it would be okay to use the car park for a few minutes whilst no customers were around, said that having to pay such a hefty sum “doesn’t seem right” and said she won’t pay the fine.
But restaurant bosses say they have “every right” to impose the fine, and stand by their decision to employ a private company to look after the car park, Manchester Evening News reports.
Restaurant manager, Ali Mohammed, claims there are dozens of big red signs in the car park which clearly state that the area is for customers only.
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Manchester Evening News)
The signs read: “This private land is for the parking of motor vehicles when complying with the terms below: Customers of Forts of India.”
It also states that customers must input their registration number when entering the restaurant.
Mr Mohammed said they implemented parking restrictions several years ago after motorists left their cars parked there for hours leaving diners with no where to park.
But the seething mum says she isn’t going to pay the fine adding that she doesn’t think it’s fair to charge someone for parking in a car park during the hours it’s not in use.
“The restaurant wasn’t open so I thought it would be okay for five minutes,” she said .
“I am not from that area and I didn’t really look for signs but I don’t remember seeing anything really obvious saying I couldn’t park there.
“I got the fine a couple of months ago but I decided not to pay it as it was something like £120 which seemed like such a lot of money.
“Then I got a letter through from Debt Recovery Plus last Friday saying I had five days from the date of the letter to pay £160.
“By the time it came four days had passed and I had one day left to pay it, and it was a weekend as well.”
The woman says she only gets half an hour for her lunch break, and claims it’s impossible to park anywhere else in the area.
“I don’t think it’s fair to ask someone to pay £120 for an area that is not being used,” she added.
“Paying a private company to slap you with a hefty fine just doesn’t seem right to me.
“Now they’ve put the fine up to £160 I’m not going to pay it.”
Mr Mohammed claims the fine charged by the restaurant for using the car park is in fact £60 if paid within 14 days.
“When we open at 5pm we used to have issues with people parking there to use other shops so when customers turned up there was nowhere to park,” he told the M.E.N.
“We had to do something about it.
“I don’t know how the payment got to £160. The private company we hired charge £60 if you pay it in 14 days.
“Then it goes up to £100 and I assume the debt collectors have now got involved We have every right to protect our land.”