UKPC controlled car parks come under fire

February 25, 2013

Newry City Sinn Féin councillor Valerie Harte has hit out at the confusion around car parks in the centre of the City. Councillor Harte was particularly critical of the situation which exists in the car parks which are situated within the confines of the Old Creamery site.

Speaking about the issue Cllr Harte commented;

“I have been contacted by several irate customers who have recently been issued with parking tickets in the car park outside the B&M store. After studying the layout and determining who was responsible for which car park, I was amazed to discover that shoppers who park there are being penalised for crossing the road to shop in Pound Stretcher or Dunnes Hardware shop.

“The owners of these car parks who are UKPC are saying that the parking provided outside their shops are solely for their customers. I believe that the owners of these parks and the shop keepers need to come together to reach some arrangement. It is ludicrous that shoppers are finding themselves in this situation on a daily basis.

“It is an absolute disgrace that at a time when we are trying to encourage shoppers into the City to spend money they are being targeted in this way. If this situation continues then the larger out of town shops with free car parking available are going to attract would be shoppers which will eventually suck the commercial life out of the City shops.

“I am appealing to the owners of the car parks to think again and try to encourage people into Newry instead of forcing them to shop further away. Newry and Mourne council has a huge role to play and I will be bringing this issue up at the earliest opportunity with council officials.”

On a related issue councillor Harte raised questions around the signage and the address used by the company who are issuing the tickets.

“I recently dealt with a constituent who had stayed in one of the car parks for slightly over two hours and she was issued with a £60 fine, this despite clear signage stating that the limit was three hours.

“On the parking ticket the location of the car park was “Merchant Quay Retail Park.” I have checked with council and as far as they are aware the car park is situated within the Old Creamery Retail Park. I can fully understand the anger amongst shoppers and I am calling for the people responsible to deal with this issue as soon as possible and to clear up the confusion.”

UKPC, the company which controls the car parks in question, are notorious for issuing such fines and online information and money advice forums are awash with complaints regarding spurious fines issued by the company to unwitting shoppers.

Despite repeated attempts by The Examiner to obtain clarification on the issue from UKPC, the company refused to offer any comment.