Morrisons Customers Frustrated by Car Park Fines

System appears to be penalising people who parked legitimately

The fine issued to Cllr Guy Lambert
The fine issued to Cllr Guy Lambert


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October 27, 2023

A growing number of customers of Morrisons in Brentford are receiving Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) after using the new car park above the store.

If you visit the car park and want to be entitled to up to 90 minutes of free parking, you must spend at least £5 in the Morrisons or other outlets in the complex and you will be issued with a receipt plus a separate printed ticket with a barcode.

This then needs to be scanned when you enter your details on the machine before departure.

However, a significant number of people have reported that, despite making every effort to carefully follow the procedure required, a PCN for £100 has arrived in the post a few days after their visit.

Shoppers also say that the machines in the car park are often not functioning correctly and it has required visits to more than one to get the barcode accepted. In some cases, people receiving fines say they have spoken to staff managing the car park who have told them that there wouldn’t be a problem.

One victim was local ward councillor Guy Lambert who visited the car park already aware that there had been issues with fines.

He said in his weekly update for this site, “I had heard about problems with the car park at the new Morrisons, so I decided to experiment whether it was as bad as I’d heard, last Wednesday afternoon. Got in and parked with no problem, did a bit of shopping and got in a lift back to the car park, with a free parking voucher in my hot little hand. I observed to a fellow traveller that I’d heard of fines and he said he’d already had one and got it cancelled on appeal. Getting out, there were 6 people milling round the pay machines but nobody could get any of them working. I spent a few minutes trying to crack the system and eventually one of us supplicants said ‘ah, I’ve got this one working’ so we queued up, with this Good Samaritan coaching us and it seemed all was now well, though there was nothing really to confirm that.”

Despite this he received a PCN in the post two days later. He appealed to the parking company on the grounds that he had the required barcode, the machines were dysfunctional, others were having similar problems and the picture with the PCN letter showed him driving not parked. His appeal was rejected so he contacted Morrisons who said it was nothing to do with them and referred him to Ballymore the owner of the car park, who have not yet responded to his query.

When other customers of Morrisons contacted the supermarket chain to inform them what has happened they also have been referred to the parking company issuing the fines Parking & Property Management Ltd.

Balloons festoon the entrance to the new Morrisons

It is not clear who awarded this company the contract. Morrisons customer service staff say that it is owned and operated by Ballymore.

Parking & Property Management Ltd says it follows the code of practice set down by The International Parking Community (IPC) an Accredited Trade Association (ATA) which represents parking operators in both the public and private sector.

It has a rating of 1.3 stars out of 5 on Trust Pilot for its activities on other car parks it manages. Most parking operators receive a relatively high proportion of complaints online, but this rating is lower than other comparable services.

Complaints range from unclear and unfair parking terms and conditions, parking tickets issued for minor infringements, such as overstaying by a few minutes and difficulty contacting Parking & Property Management Ltd. to resolve parking ticket disputes.

Frustration and anger over the fines has resulted in many people, some of whom have been shopping at Morrisons in Brentford for decades, to say they plan to boycott the store.

We contacted Morrisons to ask it about issues at the car park shortly after the store opened. A spokesperson replied by reiterating the previously stated advice about correct use of the machines and said they would look into reports of incorrectly issued fines. We did not receive and further communication from them for over a week so have made another request for an update.

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