A couple fear they may face £2,000 of parking tickets because they were unaware the rules for a carpark the wife used daily had changed.
Trudi Nicoll from Wixoe goes to the gym at Haverhill leisure Centre between 7.30am and 830am each weekday morning and for about four years has always used the KFC carpark as the restaurant is closed.
But on August 9 she received a £100 parking charge notice from the car park management company Civil Enforcement for staying longer than 45 minutes on July 12.
As she carried on using the carpark after that date, she and husband Les fear Civil Enforcement may be sending them tickets for a month.
Trudi said: “If they had put a ticket on the car, I would have stopped straight away, but there was nothing.”
Les said the only new sign was half hidden by a bush near one of the two entrances, though this week more prominent signs were put up.
Trudi said: “There have always been signs there so I never noticed any new signs – I didn’t give it a thought.
“I’m not taking away any business from KFC – I’m gone before they open. I’m not the only one who’s had tickets.”
Les said: “It’s underhand – if someone had put a sign up, or notified the gym, fine, but it’s a month afterwards that they sent the ticket.”
Civil Enforcement manages carparks on private land nationally and is a member of the British Parking Association whose guidelines say notices saying there are terms should be displayed at the entrances.
It adds: “You must place signs containing the specific parking terms throughout the site so that drivers are given the chance to read them at the time of parking.”
Citizens’ Advice Bureau guidance on parking charge notices for private land says the ticket must be sent within 14 days of the incident. It is only enforceable as a civil debt,
To appeal against one you must first contact the company but can then appeal to the independent Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA).
When the Echo tried to call Civil Enforcement this week its phone number was permanently engaged. We have emailed asking for a response.