A CLEVELEYS pensioner has issued a warning to shoppers after spending 10 minutes parked in a bay with an hour limit – and picking up a £50 fine.
Brian O’Donaghue of Maplewood Drive says he was left furious after the parking ticket was slapped on his wife’s car as she shopped in Marks & Spencer on Victoria Road West.
Mrs O’Donaghue parked in the car park behind the store in a bay permitting one hour of free parking, then went to use the bank before starting her shopping.
To her horror, when she returned 10 minutes later, the ticket had been stuck on to her windscreen.
Despite Mr O’Donaghue, 60, complaining in the store, he was told staff could not help him as the car park is operated by a different company Euro Car Parks.
Now the grandfather of four has vowed never to use M&S again.
He said: “The car park signs are totally misleading, it is absolutely sickening.
“It says for Marks & Spencer customers and she did shop there, it doesn’t say if you shop anywhere else you’ll get fined.
“It isn’t as though she was 10 minutes over the hour, she was 10 minutes in total, it makes it an expensive 10 minutes with this fine. We are disgusted and will never use another M&S store.”
Mr O’Donaghue has pledged to appeal the £50 fine although a sign on the wall indicates charges can go as high as £70.
He added: “The worst thing is feeling as though she was spied on, it’s like Big Brother is watching you.
“She has the receipt to prove she used the store, I don’t see how they can justify it. You wouldn’t expect this treatment from Marks and Spencers, I understand it is a different company, but they are acting on behalf of them.
“We will certainly take our business elsewhere.”
An M&S spokesman said: “It’s always our intention to ensure we have parking spaces available for our customers where possible, and the car park at M&S Simply Food in Cleveleys is clearly marked for customers only.
“If a customer feels that a fine has been issued in error they are advised to contact Euro Car Parks with their receipt.”
Euro Car Parks did not wish to make a comment.