Complaints over parking enforcement at a bargain store in Armagh have been raised with the retailer’s head office.
And motorists are being advised to make themselves aware of parking restrictions before leaving their vehicles.
Large numbers of motorists have been caught out by over-staying the two-hour parking limit outside the B&M store at Lonsdale Road.
The parking charge notice demands £100 which is reduced to £60 if paid within a fortnight.
SDLP Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon says it is his understanding that the length of time motorists are parking on site is being monitored by CCTV.
He has contacted warned people to be aware of the situation and has contacted the head office at B&M Bargains seeking clarification and answers.
“They know nothing of the fine until they receive a ticket in the post, nothing is put on the car at the time,” explained Councillor O’Hanlon.
“People are asking are these tickets genuine and are they enforceable. Some have advised me that they were not aware of parking restrictions and were astonished to receive these notices in the post.
“This enforcement seems to have started all of a sudden, with no prior warning and it has caught a lot of people off guard.
“I visited the location and there is plenty of warning signage, but the question I want answered is when did the signage go up and why was there no prior warning of the intent to introduce parking restrictions?’
“Unfortunately this is a growing trend with multi-national stores who see these types of regulations as an alternative way of taking in revenue.
“In this case, I understand that the monitoring of how long people are parking is being done by CCTV.
“I have been inundated with people querying if these tickets are even legal. Having made enquiries with the DVA they have confirmed that the tickets are not enforceable by them, in that they were issued on private lands and that they were issued by private contractors.
“However, if the fine is not paid, many people are receiving letters from credit agencies seeking payment on behalf of the land owner.
“I would urge people to be aware of any restrictions on where they are parking and to watch out for signage.
“In this instance motorists are restricted to two hours parking.
“I have written to the store’s Head Office seeking clarity on some of the issues raised with me.”