Drivers puzzled over car parking charges

Published: 10 Jan 2013 17:3016 comments

A NEW parking system at a popular retail park has been described as confusing by some users.

Recording: Some of the CCTV camera that now take images of vehicles at the Peel Centre car park.

Starting this week, people using The Peel Centre car park in Bracknell will have their number plates photographed by CCTV cameras as they enter and leave - doing away with the old ticket system.

Shoppers will still get two hours free, plus an extra hour if they have used any Point Leisure facilities.

However, the onus will be on them to calculate whether they have been within the time limit - as there are no longer barriers to stop drivers at the exit.

Bob Gerrard, who has a consultancy firm based in Arlington Square, is worried that people could drive out without realising they have to pay, and added: "There will be people who genuinely won't know and will leave. It's confusing."

But Euro Car Parks insists there are a number of benefits to the new system, such as machines accepting notes and cards and users having until 11.59pm the next day to pay.

For the full story, pick up a copy of the Bracknell News - out today.

What do you think of the new system at the Peel Centre? Comment below or email

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  • JennyB
    8 posts
    Jan 10, 20:27
    Report abuse

    I think it is very confusing, their Notice boards and instructions are displayed on the Entrances which is stupid as if you want to stop and read them you then cause a major traffic jam.. I found a paypoint today to read what the instructions were and after it says ways of paying and the end if then tells you that the Pay on Line system is not yet up and running. I asked the Car Park assistant what happens if you leave the car park after 2 hours he advised that you would pay the penalty charge of £70. I thought this was strange as one of the pay options when working of course was you Pay on line, am I now to bring my Laptop shopping with me. Also it might be an idea for them to show at the exit the Instructions and also advise people that the Online system is currently not working. Also it would be nice to know what time there cameras are set at on entry so that you can make sure you watch is saying the same time so that you are not caught out. At least you could do this with the ticket system as the time was stamp on the ticket. I suppose one day we will get used to it when then iron out all the little wrinkles in the system and set up

    Recommend?   Yes 12     No 3

  • DodgyNews
    63 posts
    Jan 11, 08:53
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    Another compelling day for news in Bracknell.

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 8

  • DunMoaning
    71 posts
    Jan 12, 05:21
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    The old system worked fine. Most car parks have this system.

    Take a ticket, put a ticket in a machine at the end of your shop and leave.

    If this is all to do with queues and only taking coins.

    Move the barriers, and change the ticket machines to take notes and cards and install more pay kiosks.

    I only see this as a money grabbing system. They now people will get confused get the time wrong and get fined, which could not happen on the old system as you could not leave without paying.

    I assume it is the pay up by this date or the fine gets doubled to encourage people not to argue the fine. Nice little earner.

    And how for those that wish to avoid paying as in petrol theft how do they get around false number plates? Old system does not have this problem.

    I wonder if this car registration system links to the DVLA and police insurance and MOT checking system - now that would make it a useful system for all those illegal cars out there.

    Recommend?   Yes 6     No 1

  • chris24
    1 post
    Jan 12, 16:35
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    Is there a certain time allowed to drive out of the car park? If you return to the car within 2 hours, then get stuck in the traffic due to the ridiculous design of the car park, will you get a fine?

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 1

  • Nealy1974
    1 post
    Jan 12, 21:45
    Report abuse

    I think the system is a great improvement. For most people using the site who stay under 2 hours you just simply drive out where's the confusion in that? The pricing hasn't changed at all!!!

    From what I can see the system is in place simply to stop people abusing the car park. Imagine if it was a free-for-all there would be no spaces for shoppers as commuters would fill the car park.

    If you do stay over the 2 hours the charges are still lower than what you would pay at any other car parks in Bracknell.

    If you take the time to read the signs the system gives you 48hrs to pay for your parking, if you go over 2 hrs. They system gives lots of ways to pay.

    Most car parks have a "Transit Period" which allows you 15-20 mins to get out once you have paid.

    They could use a 2hr maximum stay as most retail parks do and fine you if you go over by 1 minute, but they are not they allow you to stay longer by levying a small charge.

    For those people who don't like change! "Who Moved My Cheese" Read It... Great Book!

    I use the site on a daily basis and think this is a great system, more car paks should use it.

    Recommend?   Yes 4     No 12

  • RBFinch
    2 posts
    Jan 14, 12:22
    Report abuse

    "If you take the time to read the signs the system gives you 48hrs to pay for your parking, if you go over 2 hrs. They system gives lots of ways to pay. "

    " users having until 11.59pm the next day to pay."

    Which is it? If you leave at 11.50 pm on Monday and you have until 11.59 on Tuesday, that's just over 24 hrs, not 48 hrs . . .

    There are numerous stores at Skimped Hill, rationing customers to only two hours free parking is contrary to business sense.

    Most movies last more than three hours including queuing for tickets, watching ads etc - is this yet another way we are to be penalised for going into Bracknell to spend money? Winnersh cinema has free parking, think I'll go there in future.

    Forget Morrisons, use Tesco & M&S at the Meadows for unlimited free parking.

    Recommend?   Yes 9     No 0

  • catchmentsilk
    15 posts
    Jan 14, 15:01
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    Another good reason not to stop too long in Bracknell.

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 0

  • DayVanus
    1 post
    Jan 17, 22:13
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    Parasites preying on cash strapped public in a totally inadequate parking area, just adds more stress to the 'retail experience'. No wonder everyone's shopping online

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 0

  • Anna123
    3 posts
    Jan 25, 09:14
    Report abuse

    I went to the Odeon to see 'Les Miserables' which is 2.40 hours long and found that when I submitted my cinema pass at the pay machine it was 5 mins over and cost me £1.50 as it is only valid for 3 hours. I want to see 'Lincoln' but this is over 2.30 mins long so I will be going to Winnersh! It would also be a good idea to have a pay machine nearer the cinema.

    Recommend?   Yes 5     No 1

  • Rach813
    1 post
    Jan 27, 22:37
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    I went to Frankie and Benny's for dinner and then to the Odeon to see Les Mis. Total time was 5 hours 13 mins, used the Odeon voucher which took us down to 4 hours 13 mins - costing £10 to park! Went back to F&Bs to get another voucher and they said it was on the receipt which we hadn't kept as we didn't know about the new parking system at that point in time. An absolute disgrace. It has put me off patronising the local businesses. Will be going to Winnersh next time. And this was on a Sunday night so we weren't exactly taking up valuable spaces that shoppers wanted. I am beyond angry.

    Recommend?   Yes 6     No 2

  • pointCustomer
    2 posts
    Jan 28, 19:21
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    "Euro Car Parks insists there are a number of benefits to the new system, such as machines accepting notes and cards "

    The machine clearly stated that it only accepted cash when I went to the Cinema in january.

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 0

  • pointCustomer
    2 posts
    Jan 28, 19:26
    Report abuse

    "Euro Car Parks insists there are a number of benefits to the new system, such as machines accepting notes and cards "

    1. The machine clearly stated that it only accepted cash when I went to the Cinema in January.

    2. I asked at the Cinema how to use the ticket to get the 3h free parking. The cinema lad who had just checked my ticket pointed to the barcode that he had just torn in half and said I should present that to the car park machine.

    I expected to pay £10 if the cinema ticket didn't work and one of the lower tariffs it it did.

    However, the car park attendant who was helping people when I arrived had gone and the machine said I had nothing to pay when I left. Various other people were surprised that they had nothing to pay just before and after me.

    They had obviously turned off the system even though it is supposede to opperate 24h a day.

    (I will also use the Showcase at Loddon Bridge in preference in the future.)

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 0

  • neatheyc
    1 post
    Feb 1, 13:53
    Report abuse

    Went to the cinema on Wednesday and met my brother there. I got there at 8.40pm as I had to get some money out, tickets and refreshments. Film was scheduled for 9pm, with a 9.15pm start. It was a long film and didn't get out until around 12.05am

    Could only find one pay machine, so there was a long queue. All the people said they will never come to that cinema again and will opt for Winnersh next time, just because of this stupid car park. I tend to agree. The old system, if you used the cinema, you parked for free. Not if its a long film you can't. Had to pay £1.50.

    Brother got away with it as it couldn't find his number plate in the records. Although now he will probably be prosecuted by Euro Car Parks

    Recommend?   Yes 4     No 0

  • terence
    1 post
    Mar 9, 10:21
    Report abuse

    Went to the 'POINT' last night. Shopped at Morrisons then went to the Cinema.

    Left the Cinema and went to the parking machine in the rain.

    The Cinemas bar code did not work on any of the three tickets presented

    A nice evening turned into a nightmare as I then found out that the machine only takes change I had no change.

    I used to shop and go to the cinema at the point often, NEVER AGAIN.

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 0

  • angyofMiltionKeens
    1 post
    Apr 12, 23:25
    Report abuse

    I just went to the cinema ... as is often the case the barriers were up (or as it turns out missing)

    I picked up a flier from the cinema when mentions the parking scheme. I read it when I got home.

    goggled it (found this page) and also a reference to ... the site is not working and the phone number goes unanswered.

    It seems I should enter my cinema ticket number (scan it) ... but rather late to discover that.

    So it seems they think they can 'fine me' £70 because I was unaware of their little money making scheme ... now I don't think delegation of legal powers has quite reached the stage where parking firms can issue summons and fines ... so I assume they mean they may "make a charge" of £70.

    Well in the end i drove back 6 miles (12 mile round trip) parked outside their car park [never going in there again] entered my reg No in the machine ... it says it has no record of me [ so the the cameras probably don't work, like the web site and the phones] ... I add my arrival date and scan the cinema ticket ... it's now about 19:00 won't let me enter the actual time I left the carpark ... so I'm forced to accept the 'current time' (some two hours after I actually left) ... so i charges me a further £1.50 .


    1: I've been forced to pay £1.50 by a machine based fraud (the money was not owed)

    2: I've had to waste 2 hours

    3: I've driven 12miles

    I make that close to £60 in charges I've incurred due to their actions. The actual amount they were entitled to was £0.00 .

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 0

  • colin271267
    1 post
    Jul 14, 00:21
    Report abuse

    I had to leave the car park after almost three hours and decided to pay online later at home. Upon entering the Veri Park website, it asked for my vehicle registration number which I entered, the next page listed 1 of 2 car parks did I park in, both in High Wycombe.....Well neither, I parked in Bracknell ?

    O.K. I thought, I had to pick up my son from the cinema, so I thought I would drive back to the Peel Centre car park, put my car reg details in and pay there.

    The machine only recognised the time I had gone back to the car park and therefore displayed I didn't owe any money ? wanting to run the risk of getting a fine, drove home, registered my vehicle and credit card details via there web site.....exactly the same details.

    I know, just to put my mind at rest, I will call them........No Answer.

    So now I don't know if I do, because technically I was an hour over the free 2hrs parking or I don't owe them money and run the risk of being served a fine ?

    And they claim this is easier.....I beg to differ !!!!!!

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 0

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