'We got ambushed and fined £70': Drivers are being caught out by 'a lack of parking signs' on a Harborough industrial estate
Unhappy businesses owners say many customers are unaware of parking fine warnings that are over 500 metres away
A young woman has hit out after her boyfriend was given a £70 parking ticket outside a furniture store on a Market Harborough industrial estate.
The 22-year-old trainee teacher said there are no signs outside the Furniture Loft on the town’s Riverside Industrial Estate telling drivers not to park there.
She’s now warning other people to stay clear of parking on the stretch of road opposite the shop in case they get caught out.
“It’s just absolutely mad. I’ve lived in Market Harborough for 20 years and we’ve never had a problem parking outside the Furniture Loft,” said the woman, who asked not to be named.
“So I can’t understand for the life of me why we’ve got a ticket this time.
“I popped in to the shop just before 12midday on Monday with my boyfriend.
“All the parking spaces by the store itself had been taken so we left the car over the road as usual.
“There are no double yellow lines there – and definitely no signs.
“We’d only been inside five minutes when a member of staff told us we were getting a ticket on our windscreen,” she said.
“We dashed outside and the warden said she had no choice but to give us the ticket.
“She actually laughed at us and seemed to find the whole thing funny.
“A shocked woman from Corby parked in front of us also got a ticket.
“We protested that there were no signs telling us not to park there.
“But we got told that the road is for permit holders only and there are signs at the entrance to the Riverside estate.
“They are over 530 metres (580 yards) away from the store for heaven’s sake!
“I’d love the Harborough Mail to tell my story to warn other people in Market Harborough not to stop there.
“We’ve been told by our local councils time and again to support our businesses here after they’ve been battered by the Covid pandemic.
“But when we do go out to shop we get jumped by a jobsworth warden hiding in the bushes!
“You can’t walk out to the Riverside estate, you’ve got to drive there.
“We got ambushed,” said the woman.
“Now we’ve got to fork out £70 – or £35 if we cough up in the next fortnight.
“We weren’t causing an obstruction or blocking anyone else.
“The council should be ashamed – this is simply a ruthless money-making exercise.”
Richard Kimbell, who owns the 35-year-old Furniture Loft, said: “This is becoming more of a serious problem here.
“I’d like the council either to remove the parking restrictions – or put up warning signs here so drivers know where they stand.
“Part of the trouble is that the signs stand at the entrance to the estate where drivers are fully focused watching for cars coming the other way.
“They’re certainly not looking out for signs up in the air.
“My wife had someone run into her there, it’s very busy,” said Richard.
“We have parking spaces outside here but there is a kerb to get over.
“So some drivers with low cars understandably park on the other side.
“We actually gave one of our customers a discount recently after they got a parking ticket.
“I’d like the council to tell me as well how many people actually have permits to park along there.
“Not very many I’d bet.”
A Leicestershire County Council spokesperson said: “Signs indicating the permit parking zone are placed on both sides of the only road leading into the Riverside Estate.
“The signing and road markings are fully compliant with current regulations which only permit signs at the entrance to the zone.
“We are aware of this case and, as with all penalty charges issued, motorists have the right to appeal.
“Each case is considered on an individual basis.”
They added: “The workplace parking permit scheme at Riverside was introduced at the request of many of the businesses in the area due to the difficulties they were having with inconsiderate parking and difficulties accessing their businesses.”