Melton motorists are being warned not to get caught out by new parking rules in force in a shopping centre car park.
The charges for parking in the Bell Centre car park now apply 24-hours-a-day, Monday to Sunday.
The change in the terms and conditions of using the car park has already caught out former Melton doorman Tony Rowe who has been hit with a £60 fine as long as he pays within 12 days - otherwise it will go up to £100.
Mr Rowe, a lorry driver who used to work on the door at Tubes nightclub, said: “I went for a bite to eat with my son in the Cutting Room on Saturday. I didn’t buy a ticket because you didn’t normally have to. I got in my car and drove out as usual. It was only today (Friday, May 6) that I found out I’d got a £60 fine.
“I’ve been parking there for years and years so it came as a shock. I understand why they’re doing it but I think there should have been some kind of advertising about it to notify people.”
The company who operate and manage the car park, Smart Parking Ltd, uses camera technology to see which cars have used the Bell Centre car park and then send a charge later to those who fail to comply with the terms and conditions.
A statement issued to the Melton Times on behalf of Smart Parking Ltd said: “Smart Parking recently installed an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system at the Bell Shopping Centre car park.
“There have been no changes to tariffs. Ahead of doing this we installed nine new signs which clearly state the new terms and conditions of use.
“This new signage was in place for a period of over a week for trialling and testing the equipment to ensure that we are providing a compliant and customer focussed service on-site.
“We would remind any motorist to always check the terms and conditions of use at a private car park.”
The Bell Centre car park shouldn’t be confused with Melton Borough Council’s St Mary’s Way car park which is adjacent to it, with signs on display to make drivers aware which is which.
Charges in the council-managed St Mary’s Way car park apply from 7.30am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.
What do you think about the Bell Centre’s new parking regime? Email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org