Chesterfield film-lovers’ anger at five-hour parking limit

Two film fans caught breaching the five-hour parking restriction at Chesterfield’s Alma Leisure Park have urged a rethink on the time limit.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 2:20 pm

Computer company manager Stephen Hulbert received a £60 parking charge notice after over-staying on December 28, following a family trip to the Cineworld cinema and meal at a nearby restaurant – staying five-and-a-half hours in the car park.

However, after appealing the penalty charge notice, with proof of his spending, HX Car Park Management, which manages the car park, rescinded it.

Mr Hulbert, 53, of Wirksworth, said: “With the cinema and restaurants, it’s amost as if they are enticing you to spend more than five hours there.”

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Paul Rutherford with the parking fine from Alma Leisure Park.

He urged the site owner and HX to rethink the limit, or set up a scheme where on-site businesses take details from their customers, to ensure anyone using the park legitimately is not fined.

Armed Forces veteran Paul Rutherford also appealed his PCN – but it was rejected.

The Cineworld Unlimited cardholder, allowing him to watch as many movies as he wants each month for a set price, attended at the end of October, watching two films with lunch on-site inbetween – spending just under six hours parked.

Mr Rutherford, a former Royal Air Force flight sergeant chef, appealed his charge, but it was rejected – only finding out later that Cineworld can take details of customers planning to spend longer than five hours watching movies, to prevent them getting tickets.

Cars parked outside Cineworld at Alma Leisure Park, Chesterfield.

The 73-year-old, of Woodhead Lane, Handley, said he had been forced to give up his Unlimited card to pay the PCN – although Cineworld has said it will cover the cost of his fine so he can continue his Unlimited membership.

A Cineworld spokesman said: “Cineworld Chesterfield does not own or manage the car park, but we are able to arrange stays longer than the permitted five hours for our customers.

“Our staff just need to be notified in advance, so they can make arrangements.”

Mr Hulbert and Mr Rutherford came forward after retired teacher Lesley Garrick got in touch with the Derbyshire Times to warn others about the limit, after receiving a PCN.

A parking sign at Alma Leisure Park, Chesterfield.

HX confirmed the PCNs “were issued correctly”.