Chesterfield leisure park car park bosses defend five-hour limit
The firm managing the Alma Leisure Park car park in Chesterfield has defended its five-hour limit.
The limit had come under fire after several cinema-goers received £60 penalty charge notices for staying more than five hours after watching more than one film at Cineworld Chesterfield on the park, or going to one of the on-site restaurants after seeing a movie.
However, HX Car Park Management, which manages the car park, said the limit was designed to stop town centre workers using it.
Ellie Berkeley, HX PCN administration team leader, said: “The five-hour maximum stay prevents workers from close by abusing the land and parking there for free, without using the shops on site.
“The landowner decides the maximum stay they would like in place and we enforce it – five hours is sufficient time to visit the cinema and also eat at a restaurant.
“If the driver knows they will exceed this limit, for example by watching multiple films, they could park elsewhere or move their vehicle after the five hours.
“We also display our customer service number on signage, so drivers could also call us and ask that they be exempt from the maximum stay as they are watching multiple films, which some drivers did.
“We recently introduced a tablet, so drivers are able to enter their own registrations as a goodwill gesture, so cinema customers could use their Unlimited membership.”
Former restaurant owner Paul Rutherford, of Woodhead Lane, Handley, received a PCN after watching two films in October.
The 73-year-old Cineworld Unlimited cardholder, allowing him to watch as many films as he wants each month for a set price, said he had been forced to give up his membership to pay for the ticket after his appeal was rejected – although Cineworld has said it will cover the cost of his PCN so he can continue with it.
Ms Berkeley said: “The driver did not ask cinema staff what to do if they were planning to watch more than one film and it is not the staffs’ responsibility to inform customers of the parking terms; drivers must read the signage.
“The driver willingly parked there knowing they would exceed the maximum stay and incur a PCN.”