Lidl admits 'regret' after dozens of customers wrongly hit with parking fines

Lidl admits 'regret' after dozens of customers wrongly hit with parking fines

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GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 10/01/2024

- 10:02

Updated: 10/01/2024

- 14:35

The issue was flagged up by a Member of the Legislative Assembly

Lidl has been forced to apologise after motorists were incorrectly hit with parking fines in one of its car parks.

The supermarket has issued a statement after a "fault" at one of their Northern Ireland customer parking zones showed people parking for up to 72 hours over Christmas.

SDLP MLA for South Down Colin McGrath said customers of the Downpatrick store were issued with tickets for "staying in excess of 24 hours which is obviously wrong".

He flagged the issue on social media after receiving multiple reports from constituents who had been wrongly fined for parking.

Outside the LidlShoppers at the Lidl have been left shockedGoogle Maps

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.

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."

A spokesperson from the supermarket chain said: "Lidl Northern Ireland has been made aware of a fault affecting the Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras within the Downpatrick store car park where a number of customers have had their parking times incorrectly recorded.



Stormont announced a new wave of parking restrictions last year


The statement added: "Regrettably, some vehicle owners were issued with parking notices by our car park management company Your Parking Space (YPS), an external third-party contractor, as a result of this issue.

"We are urgently working to ensure that this technical error is resolved quickly. We confirm that any fines incurred during this period will of course be cancelled."

"Lidl Northern Ireland introduced the YPS system at our Downpatrick store in November 2022 so that we can always accommodate our local customers with ample free parking to meet their needs and to ensure we can maintain a regular free flow of movement to allow more shoppers to enjoy priority parking at our store.

"Ensuring that every one of our customers has a positive shopping experience is of the utmost importance to us and we appreciate everyone’s patience while this technical error is being resolved.

"YourParkingSpace has uncovered that the faulty ANPR system was caused by a truck hitting the camera at the car park exit. This caused the camera to be misaligned, which meant that some drivers’ number plates were not recognised when they should have been.

"ParkMaven, the company who manages and issues PCNs at this site, has either cancelled or are cancelling all PCNs affected by this issue. Also making a manual change to its systems so that no further PCNs will automatically be sent from that site until the camera is repaired."

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 are being urged to abide by the new rules and to show consideration at all times when parking to ensure they are not causing an obstruction and inconvenience to others.

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