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Drivers fined after changes to car park regulations will NOT get refunds

Motorists who were fined after restrictions at a car park were changed will NOT get their money back, the Observer can reveal.

Sally Cook was one of the motorists fined

Motorists who were fined after restrictions at a car park were changed will NOT get their money back, the Observer can reveal.

Former parking bosses at the site have said that they will not refund any of the fines paid by motorists who were penalised for staying too long at Eastgate car park while the tighter restrictions were in force.

But they also say they will not pursue drivers who have not yet paid the fines.

The Observer reported in July that the site’s letting agents, Aston Rose, agreed to quash outstanding tickets issued between June 2 and July 8, when the free parking limit at Eastgate was reduced from three hours to 90 minutes.

It followed complaints that the changes had not been made clear enough.

Until now Excel Parking and Vehicle Control Services, which managed parking enforcement at the site, has not commented on how people who have already paid the fines would be affected.

The firm has confirmed to the Observer they do not intend to refund the charges.

Baxenden councillor Terry Hurn took over the cause for drivers to be reimbursed and said he was outraged at the decision, but vowed to keep fighting for the affected motorists.

Motorist Rita Healey, 76, who was fined twice in the space of a week, said she was disgusted by the decision. She paid her first fine but refused to pay the second.

She said: "It’s absolutely terrible what they’ve done to people. I told them I was a pensioner and I couldn’t afford it, it makes me really angry."

Deputy council leader Clare Pritchard said it was ‘horrendous’ that people would not receive a refund.

She said: "I think they should do the honourable thing.

"A lot of these people are elderly and they paid the fines straight away.It’s good that they’re not going to be chasing the unpaid fines but people are being penalised for being conscientious."

A spokesman for Excel said it had only issued fines in keeping with its contract and said it was ‘the innocent party’.

He added: "We will not be refunding parking charge notices which have been paid for legitimate parking contraventions. If motorists wish to pursue a refund we advise them to contact the managing agents who were responsible for our contract at the Eastgate Retail Park.

"We empathise with the affected motorists but hope that they recognise the difficult position we have been placed in through no fault of our own."

Tim Richards, of Aston Rose, said they were not responsible for the signs explaining the changing regulations and did not receive money from the fines.

Excel Parking and Vehicle Control Services was replaced as the parking enforcement agent for Eastgate in September.

 
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