Christmas shopper fined £187 after car 'trapped' for two days in Ipswich
- Credit: Mark Stone
A Christmas shopping trip has cost a man nearly £190 in parking charges after returning to find his car had been locked in before closing time.
Mark Stone, from Harwich, had gone to the car park, off Civic Drive, on Saturday, November 20, at 12.30pm and kept an eye on the clock as he knew the car park would close at 8pm.
However, he did not envisaged when he returned an hour before the closing time the car park had already been shut, not to reopen until Monday.
It has resulted in a car parking charge of £187 with no response from the parking company.
Mr Stone, 49, said: "What if the car belonged to a disabled person, or contained medication?
"Britannia should stick to their operating times and not close car parks early thereby holding cars hostage and people stranded.
"I'm disgusted. It ruined my Christmas shopping."
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Prior to the discovery, Mr Stone had been enjoying the Christmas cheer, buying presents for loved ones and having dinner with some friends - when he returned at 7pm to find the car park was shut.
"I was going to give my friends a lift home and I found everything closed, " he said.
He then rang the car park management company Britannia Parking on its phone number more than 11 times and was unable to get through to anyone.
The company has yet to respond when this paper contacted them for comment by phone or email.
Mr Stone was only able to leave a voicemail.
"They can't answer," he said. "How are you supposed to get in contact with them?"
He then "luckily" was able to take the train home to Harwich, where he lives.
With his car trapped in the car park until Monday he could not help his friend on Sunday with maintenance work.
Mr Stone did get his car out on Monday morning at the cost of £187, which encompassed the fine for parking overnight and fees for the time he spent there.
He said it has not ruined the idea of shopping in Ipswich for him.
"I will probably try to find another place to park," he said. "I still haven't been able to get in touch with Britannia."
Mr Stone could not locate any parking attendants as the spiral car park is unmanned.