Lidl sparks fury as 'dozens of drivers hit' with mega fines after wrongly being penalised

Lidl sparks fury as 'dozens of drivers hit' with mega fines after wrongly being penalised

WATCH NOW: Parking ticket expert Barrie Segal speaks to GB News about how to challenge unfair charges

GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn


Published: 08/01/2024

- 11:54

Shoppers at Lidl have been left shocked after being hit with fines saying they had been parked for 70 hours.

Motorists have been issued with parking tickets at the Lidl store in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland stating they had been parked for over 24 hours over Christmas.


Now, a campaign has been launched by SDLP MLA for South Down Colin McGrath.

The 48 year old highlighted how Northern Ireland is the only country in the UK where it is legal to clamp a vehicle on private property by a private firm.

Outside the Lidl

Shoppers at the Lidl have been left shocked

Google Maps

In a post on social media, McGrath said: "Busy week shaping up in the constituency- dealing with dozens of people issued with parking tickets at Downpatrick LIDL stating they had been parked for over 24hours over Christmas. In some cases 70hours!

"This needs to be exposed and challenged, which I am doing. However, issue of private companies operating on private land remains a bigger issue.

"We remain the only place out of four nations where it is legal to clamp a vehicle on private property by a private firm.

"I previously challenged Justice Minister Long on this in 2021 who could not act on outlawing the practice due to a 2011 consultation with 12 responses."

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South Down MLA for the SDLP Colin McGrath (left) talks to Antrim East MLA for the UUP John Stewart at the Stormont Buildings in Belfast

South Down MLA for the SDLP Colin McGrath (left) has launched the campaign

PA

He added: "How many people have lost money to these profiteers or been threatened with legal action? And still, the North is unable to act! A busy week shaping up here in South Down."

GB News has approached Lidl for a comment.

It comes as Stormont announced new parking restrictions that will help to address this issue by prohibiting parking wholly or partly on a footway at a number of specific locations.

All vehicles found to be in breach of the new restrictions will receive a £90 Penalty Charge Notice, discounted to £45 if paid within 14 days.

Drivers in Northern Ireland are being urged to "Think Before You Park" to avoid a fine.

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: "The Department treats vehicles parked in contravention of parking restrictions very seriously with Traffic Attendants employed across Northern Ireland to help keep traffic moving freely and safely.

""Parking on pavements is a particular area of concern. Drivers often mistakenly think they are doing the right thing by keeping the road clear but fail to consider the needs of people on the footway causing them inconvenience and often putting them in danger.

"This is a particular risk for people with disabilities, older people, children, and people pushing prams who may have to go onto the road to get around the parked cars."

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