FURIOUS motorists stung by £100 fines for parking overnight in Radcliffe’s tram station say “tiny” signs warning of the fee are completely inadequate.
Drivers using the free Radcliffe Metrolink car park in Spring Lane say it is not clear that the facility can only be used during the hours trams are running.
They say there are only two signs on the lower level of the car park – one of which is defaced – and there is no barrier or information at the entrance and exit.
But Metrolink bosses said there were actually six signs in total with 30 more set to be installed in the next week.
Drivers have been slapped with £100 tickets and say Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) needs to make the rules clearer.
Keia Nolan, aged 21, parked to get the Metrolink at around 3.30pm on July 19 and returned two days later to tickets issued at 4.19am on July 20 and 1.20am on July 21.
Keia, from Little Lever, said: “If these rules are going to be enforced and ridiculous charges issued, people need to be aware.
“There is not even a barrier at the exit. I took pictures of where my car was parked and no sign is visible from where I was.”
Keia reported the tickets to the police, fearing a scam, and was told by officers the ticket had come from a legitimate private company, Care Parking, but could be disputed.
She has contacted the firm which issued the tickets directly but has had no response.
Sarah Southworth, who lives in Bury, parked at 4pm on August 2.
When she picked her car up the next day, a £100 fine had been issued at 3.46am.
Sarah, an accountant, said she will dispute the fine. She added: “It is a free car park and it is ludicrous TfGM are penalising people for being responsible and leaving their cars.
“What about people who work a night shift and get a late tram then come back in the morning?
“If the rule is going to be enforced the information has to be displayed so people can actually see it. It is outrageous.”
Commercial photographer David Allen, from Radcliffe, was stung by a £100 fine after parking overnight last Friday while he went into Manchester.
When he returned the next day, a fine had been issued at 4am and in the immediate vicinity of his vehicle another four cars had been ticketed.
David said in the past he has been able to leave his car overnight, collecting it the following morning without a charge.
He said: “The restrictions are diametrically opposed to Bury Council’s ongoing anti drink-driving campaign.
“There are only two signs and one is defaced, both are badly lit and too high. There are no barriers, suggesting or encouraging overnight use. “These underhand tactics to impose charges will result in the less responsible, who may be drunk, being tempted to drive their cars while under the influence.”
A spokesman for TfGM said 30 new signs are set to be installed by Care Parking next week to boost the six they say are currently in place.
She added: “Metrolink park and rides should only be used by passengers during the hours tram services are running, which is made very clear on signs.
“Parking overnight puts your car at risk and inconveniences our customers who arrive early in the morning to get a parking spot. “TfGM does not profit from fines and Care Management only issues a parking charge when there is nearby visible signage explaining parking restrictions to the customer.”
The TfGM website states overnight parking is not permitted and the facility is only available to Metrolink customers during service hours.
This has recently been updated with the website previously stating the car park was “free” and giving no further details.