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Anger at £100 fine even though ticket machines broken at Foremans Centre

By Ed McConnell

An 84-year-old woman has hit out at a parking company which fined her £100 for not having a ticket – even though both pay points were out of order.

Audrey Wilkinson parked at The Foremans Centre, High Street, Headcorn, as she had a doctor’s appointment only to find she was unable to pay the £1.50 for an hour-and-a-half stay.

She said a number of other people at the 141-space site were experiencing the same issue and thought both machines must have been full.

Audrey Wilkinson, who was given a parking ticket even though the machines were not working

Audrey Wilkinson, who was given a parking ticket even though the machines were not working

Mrs Wilkinson, of Bankfields, off Mill Bank, left a note on her dashboard saying ‘cash machines full 10.15am’, but 15 minutes later received the penalty by a UK Parking Services official.

She said: “I had to go to the surgery that morning and it was a long walk so I decided to drive. I tried to put my money in the machine. It would not take it so I tried the other one but the same thing happened.

“Clearly the machines aren’t adequate for such a large car park. I put the note in my window and 15 minutes later had been done for £100. I did appeal but they rejected it.

“I thought ‘by the time we sort this out I won’t be able to pay the reduced rate (of £60) anymore,’ so I paid it but it made me very cross.

Audrey Wilkinson couldn't pay for a ticket because the machine was out of order. Stock image

Audrey Wilkinson couldn't pay for a ticket because the machine was out of order. Stock image

“There were lots of other people there so I’m sure it happened to others. It’s just not on.”

Mrs Wilkinson said there had been issues with the car park before as it used to be 90p for an hour but the machines would only take £1 coins, adding: “I will never park there again.”

UK Parking Services had not responded by the time of going to press.

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