AN ELDERLY couple from Barnton have vowed never to return to the new Home Bargains store in Winsford after getting slapped with a massive parking fine.

John Worrall's wife Sandra, who is 76 and has inoperable bowel cancer, had been looking forward to visiting the new store at Wharton Retail Park on Saturday, September 23.

Sandra uses a mobility scooter and often feels too unwell to shop, but looks forward to the rare occasions when she can.

The couple took their time looking around the the new store, which is eight miles away from their home, while also picking up some household essentials, spending a total of £60.

Northwich Guardian: Home Bargains on Wharton Retail Park, Winsford, opened in JuneHome Bargains on Wharton Retail Park, Winsford, opened in June (Image: Home Bargains)

But a few days later, Sandra got a letter from Home Bargain's car park operating company, Parkingeye, with a demand for an eye-watering £100 to be paid within 28 days.

When they looked at the small print on the letter, it turns out Home Bargain Wharton customer have just and hour-and-a-half to do their shopping, and John and Sandra had over-run by just 20 minutes. 

John was furious, but paid-up straight away, as he feared missing out on the company's 40 per cent ‘quick pay’ discount.

The 78-year-old said: “It’s not so much the money – it’s the upset of it all.

“I usually do the shopping because Sandra’s not well enough, and I can get it done pretty quick on my own.

“But that day, Sandra was feeling okay, so she came too. She really looks forward to the days when she can.

“I rang Home Bargains when the letter came though, but I felt like I was wasting my breath. They weren’t interested.

“No matter what happens, we won’t be going there again.

“The discount they offered if you pay quickly puts really puts the pressure on. You just want it out the way.

“I just want people to know the risks.

“They say there are signs, but we didn’t see them.  Older people like us might have poor eye sight, and could easily get caught out.”

Parkingeye operates an automatic number plate recognition system at their car parks, where a camera detects a vehicle registration entering and leaving a car park.  

A spokesman for Parkingeye said it’s only during the appeals process that personal and mitigating circumstances can be brought to light and fairness and understanding shown. 

He added: “The car park at Home Bargains in Winsford features prominent and highly visible signs throughout providing information on how to use the car park responsibly. 

“This includes guidance on how all Home Bargains customers using the car park have a 1 hour 30 minutes maximum stay period, during permitted hours. The rules are in place to prevent long-stay parking abuse. 

“The motorist received a parking charge for parking for 1 hour 50 minutes on September 23. 

“Our correspondence provides clear advice and guidance on how motorists can use our appeals process to highlight any mitigating circumstances. 

“To date we have received no appeal from the motorist or any evidence to prove they were a genuine customer of Home Bargains.” 

Home Bargains have been approached for comment.