A FURIOUS MP has hit out at council parking wardens who slapped motorists with fines – after watching them pay for their spot on an app and walk away.
Crewe and Nantwich MP Kieran Mullan has slammed the Cheshire East Council after unsuspecting drivers were handed fines for unknowingly parking in a closed car park.
He says they didn't see signs warning of the closure, and paid via the PaybyPhone app – which gave the impression the car park was open and took their money.
Dr Mullan says parking wardens at the council-run Oak Street Car Park, in Crewe, watched on, then went and handed out tickets.
He said: “Like many people, my staff using that car park use the app to pay.
"The car park should be disabled in the app for the duration of the closure.
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“There were plain white A4 notices up which I would expect most people would not even see and even if you do use the pay and display machine, the notice wasn’t even on it.
"During Covid these machines were taped up.”
He added: “What is even worse is parking attendants stood and watched people park, get out and head off and then fined them when it was clear they didn’t know.
"That is totally unacceptable and I will be taking it up with Cheshire East.
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“Anyone who got a ticket please get in touch as I will be challenging these.”
The Cheshire East Council said anyone fined after paying via the app during closure last week will have to appeal their ticket.
The council did not explain why the car park wasn't disabled in the app, but a spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "A number of notices were posted at various locations around the car park advanced warning to motorists that it would be closed temporarily."
The spokesperson added: “We are aware of concerns raised by some drivers who were already present and had paid. These will be looked into.
"Anyone wishing to appeal any penalties issued is advised to act in accordance with the instructions on the penalty notice.
"The council will deal with an appeal in accordance with published national guidelines.
Anyone who got a ticket please get in touch as I will be challenging these
“We are also aware of staff being verbally abused. The council does not tolerate abuse of staff in council buildings or in public places and will take the necessary actions.”
Dr Mullan told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that Cheshire East’s statement shows "the council doesn’t seem to understand what has gone on here".
He said: “If you pay by app and drive on to the car park you would not know at all that it was closed."
The council has been approached by The Sun for further comment on the matter.
The news comes after a man was fined £200 for parking his car outside his own home while he waited for a tow truck.
A mum also recently slammed her council after being slapped with an "unfair" parking ticket while taking her son to the cricket.
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