A Whithorn man has been left stunned and angry after receiving an invoice for car parking at a local supermarket amounting to £85.
The man parked in Morrisons car park, Stranraer, for five hours and later received a letter from Parking Eye, which manages the car park, demanding a £50 payment which would rise to £85 if not paid quickly.
The man, who asked not to be named and who plans to appeal, said it was the first time he had overstayed the three-hour free parking limit.
He said: “I didn’t notice the signs. We’ve always parked there when we do our shopping. We get what we need in the supermarket then head into the town for other bits and pieces then head back into Morrisons for any reduced items later.
“I accept five hours is a bit exceptional but we never usually park for that long. But you don’t expect this sort of heavy-handed stuff around here. Maybe in the inner city it is necessary, but this is rural Scotland. I certainly won’t be shopping there again.”
Parking Eye technology takes photos of cars entering and exiting its car parks and obtains driver details from the DVLA before posting out an invoice. It has been criticised for the threatening nature of its correspondence, which mentions court proceedings if the full amount is not paid.
But ParkingEye said: “We were engaged by Morrisons because its shoppers were struggling to find parking spaces at its Stranraer store. To support those shoppers, we now manage a system which gives them three hours of free parking.
“These terms and conditions are clearly stated on 22 signs around the car park. The overwhelming majority of motorists using the car park do so without any issues. ParkingEye operates an appeals process and will look favourably upon genuine shoppers.”