Jan 11 2013 by Craig Robertson, Kilmarnock Standard
Furious drivers have hit out at new parking regulations in a Kilmarnock retail park.
Fines of £70 are now being dished out to motorists who flout laws at the Armour Drive site which were previously unenforced.
A private company called Euro Car Parks have started issuing tickets to people who park over an allowed 60 minutes using cameras and number plate recognition to catch “illegal” parking.
Several drivers have contacted the Standard to complain about the hefty charges at the retail park which includes the former MFI shop.
Kevin McFadzean, of the town’s Hillpark Drive, received a letter last Monday telling him he has overstayed the “free parking period” by 13 minutes.
It states a charge of £70 must be paid with 28 days but will be reduced to £40 if paid within 14. The company threatens further action if it remains unpaid.
Driving instructor Kevin, 33, said: “It’s a bit of shock to be honest. I’d parked there to take my son swimming at the Galleon Centre before Christmas and hadn’t realised you could get fined.
“It was raining as well so I had my hood up when I got out of the car and hadn’t noticed the sign.
“It’s a bit heavy-handed to be given this size of a fine.
“I’m now wondering if they have any right to do this as I think they are acting under English law which doesn’t apply in Scotland.”
The letter from the London-based firm states: “Euro Car Parks have been appointed to manage the car park at Armour Street, Kilmarnock, in order to discourage misuse of the car park regulations.
“We are using cameras to capture images of vehicles entering and leaving the car park and calculate their length of stay.
“Further to this we have signs that clearly show the 60 minute free parking period, together with the parking terms and conditions.”
Another driver who was caught, said: “This hasn’t even been advertised by this company. All of a sudden they just start hitting people with unreasonable fines and think putting up a sign is enough to let folk know.’’
The Standard contacted Euro Car Parks to seek a response and was told to send an email. As we went to press, the firm had not responded.