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Fury over Wycombe Lido parking fines
THE FREE Press was bombarded with calls yesterday from furious car parkers at Wycombe Rye Lido after a flood of £150 parking fines hit them – which recipients claim are unfair and incorrect.
The Lido recently changed its car park to operate a numberplate recognition system, with amended charges, that is now operated by a contracted firm.
The new parking system charges, it said, should have taken effect on the week commencing July 22.
However most who contacted the paper told a similar story - that on July 26 they parked at the Lido car park but say that signs, and in some cases staff at the pool, told them the parking charges were not yet in effect.
But yesterday they found threats of a £150 fine arriving through their letterboxes.
The Lido has now urged recipients of the fine to email details of their appeals to its manager.
Among the enraged fine recipients was Chris Reed, 32, of Herbert Road, Micklefield, who was on the Rye with his daughter on that day.
He said: "The machines weren’t in operation. No one seems to want to take responsibility for this.
"My worry is there will be lots of people who will just pay the charge without challenging it, and that’s just not right.
"I’m absolutely furious. I’ve had to spend my day off ringing around and trying to deal with someone else’s mistake."
"I won’t be paying it, that’s for sure."
Fusion Lifestyle began running the car park in 2011, when it took over the pool, which had formerly been operated by Wycombe District Council.
Marie Phillips, of Hunt Road, High Wycombe, parked with her three-year-old son on July 26. She said signs told her the machines were not operational and she entered the Lido itself to check this with staff, who assured her she could park for free.
She said: "I think it’s an outrageous situation and obviously seems to be a mistake, yet they still seem to want the money and for us to jump through the hoops of going through the appeal process. I’m absolutely disgusted by this. If they made a mistake, they should be the ones sorting it out."
Callers have also reported that signs at the car park were telling them the new parking charges would not go live until August 1.
Maria Sidders, of Bracken Way, Flackwell Heath, told the Free Press she had parked on July 26 and that the payment machine actually seemed to be out of order.
Another parker on July 26, who preferred not to be named, said: "I was told by people that the sports centre people told us we did not have to pay on that day."
Others said they had visited the car park on days subsequent to July 26 - but that signs still said the parking system was not operational.
John Barter visited the park on July 27 between 2.49pm and 3.26pm and said: "The machine was clearly signed as being free during the change over period."
A High Wycombe man, 65, who asked not to be named, was ticketed for taking his grandson to play at The Rye on July 28.
He said: "I went three times during the supposed free period and I checked the machine on each occasion - so I was extremely angry when the fine came through my door on Thursday.
"I plan to fight it, I’m going to make them take me to court - it’s extortionate what they’re doing and I would say to everyone who has one of these fines not to pay it."
Steve Lee, marketing executive of Wycombe Rye Lido, told the Free Press yesterday it had received just under 100 complaints since the new parking system had come into effect - with 12,000 people having used the car park overall. He added that members of Wycombe Rye Lido could park for free once they had registered their car’s details.
It is understood that more complaints have hit the Lido overnight and this morning.
Mr Lee said those wishing to appeal the charges should contact Creative Car Park, which manages the parking, on 0115 8225020.
He added that those appealing should also copy their complaint in to Lee White, manager of the Lido, at firstname.lastname@example.org
He said that any appeal would ultimately be referred back to the Lido, where Fusion could make the final decision over whether to uphold the fine.
Do you think you have received an unfair parking fine at the Lido? Contact email@example.com
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