A NORTHWICH man with kidney failure was fined £100 for parking on Home Bargains car park in Winsford for just 15 minutes while he took his meds. 

Steven Smith, who has stage one kidney disease, was driving home to Northwich after a visit to Manchester with a friend on Saturday, September 25.

En route, the 41-year-old pulled into McDonald's Drive Thru in Wharton Retail Park just before 1am to get a drink to help him take medication, which he must do at set times.

As McDonald's Wharton has very limited parking, once he’d got his drink, he pulled on to the Home Bargains car park next door.

The two businesses share an entrance off Nat Lane, and he spent 14 minutes parked before carrying on his journey.

Two weeks later, he got a £100 fine in the post for a company called Parkingeye, which operates car parks for Home Bargains.

Steven had a serious accident work 10 years ago, and currently lives on an income of £600 a month, made up of basic Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

He said: “It’s absolutely disgusting – a terrible business model.

“I’ve been back to read the signs, and they’re absolutely tiny. At night, you’d literally need a magnifying glass.

“If that’s their car park and they don’t want people parking on there, there’s a barrier on it. Why don’t they lock it?

“I’m disabled and on a lot of medication. I suffer from stage one kidney failure, ADHD, I’m on crutches after a severe accident at work 10 years ago.

“I can only walk about 25 yards before I had to stop, so I’m limited to where I can park.

“We only pulled on so I could take my medication. That was it.

“Two weeks later, I had a letter in the post saying I’ve been charged £100 for parking on the car park for 15 minutes.

“I’ve not done anything with it yet as it’s causing me too much stress. I live on £600 a month just now and I absolutely can’t afford it.”

Parkingeye's rules state parking is not allowed on the car park when the store is closed. 

They say this is to prevent anti-social behaviour, which is clearly explained on 'prominent' signs around the site.

A spokesman for Parkingeye said: “The car park at Home Bargains Winsford is monitored by ANPR camera systems and has eleven prominent and highly visible signs that give motorists clear guidance on how to use the car park responsibly.

“The rules are in place to prevent any anti-social behaviour and parking abuse as signage throughout clearly states this.

“The motorist parked in the car park on September 25 outside of the permitted hours and therefore received a parking charge notice (PCN). However, following a review of the case we have cancelled the PCN as a gesture of goodwill.

“Parkingeye operates a British Parking Association audited appeals process, which motorists can use to appeal their parking charge notice.

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