Blackpool Rainbows leader livid after 'completely unfair' parking fine

A rainbows leader from Blackpool is furious after being slapped with a parking fine after a trip to the cinema- which she could only afford after receiving a community grant.

By Rebecca Beardmore
Friday, 20th September 2019, 12:52 pm
Susan was charged 60 pounds by Care Parking for staying 12 minutes over the car parking limit.
Susan was charged 60 pounds by Care Parking for staying 12 minutes over the car parking limit.

Susan Connolly runs 9th Blackpool Rainbows based at Holy Cross parish centre on Central Drive, Blackpool, and took six of the young girls out in July with another leader as a treat after receiving a £500 community grant.

She said she was not aware of the parking restrictions imposed by Care Parking at the Festival leisure park site, just off Rigby Road in central Blackpool, and has now had to pay a £60 fine.

The private firm impose a three-hour parking limit at the site, and Susan was parked there for 12 minutes longer.

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She said: "I took the rainbows to watch Toy Story 4 as a treat, because we had received some grant money- we're in a deprived area of Blackpool.

"I collect subs at rainbows and that's the only money I get for them, so as you can imagine a trip to the cinema isn't something we can do often.

"There were no signs in the car park telling me about the three-hour time restriction, and nobody in the cinema told me either."

The grant Susan received was part of The Gazette's £25,000 Community Giveaway earlier this year, in association with Swallowdale Children's Trust- and now she has had "no choice" but to use some of it to pay the fine.

Susan said: "I got the fine on July 15, and I don't believe the parking fine notices went up in the car park until August.

"Care parking refused an appeal, because they said I had insufficient evidence.

"How can they justify this time limit? Of course it's going to take more than three hours for a cinema trip, especially if you want to go and eat somewhere too.

"It's an absolute disgrace. I've had no choice but to pay it because I didn't want to end up paying even more, but I'm furious about it."

A spokesman for Odeon cinemas said: “The parking facility where Odeon Blackpool is located is owned and operated by a third party.

"We have various signage points across the cinema notifying guests that to park for longer than 3 hours their car registration number needs to be entered into the tablet next to the ticket check point."

Care parking were approached for comment.