A £100 fine which was unfairly given to a shopper who parked at a supermarket within its extended Christmas opening hours has been rescinded after the Gazette intervened.

Tracy Newbury and her husband Ian headed to Morrisons at the Waterglade Retail Park, Clacton, on December 23 to make use of its earlier opening hours for the festive period.

The Old Road supermarket, which usually welcomes customers at from 7am, had decided to instead open at 6am to give people more chance to purchase products during the busy holiday season.

Eager to avoid the crowds in the run-up to Christmas, Tracy and Ian's visit to the shop saw them arrive at 6.37am.

Two and a half weeks later, however, they received a fine from parking firm GroupNexus.

Tracy said: “We did our shopping, came back, and thought nothing more of it. 

"But the fine stated we had entered the car park at 6.37am and the parking facilities were not available until 7am. 


“I lodged an appeal and got in contact with the manager of Morrisons supermarket, who asked the parking company to cancel the fine as the shop was open for business. 

“Of course, I thought this would be the end of the matter. But no, the parking company came back to the manager and said no, they’re not willing to cancel the ticket. 


“I did a bit more research on this and found out that last year the government voted to put legislation through to have these parking companies adhere to properly organised legislation with rules on how much they can charge and what they can do if people don’t pay. 

“But this was soon challenged by the parking companies, and they said it would be difficult to work and as such the government has put it on the back burner saying they’re doing further investigations.” 


The parking fine was originally for £60, but because Tracy refused to pay, it rose to £100.

After the Gazette got involved, however, GroupNexus agreed to waive the parking fine. 

A spokesman said: "Whilst motorists may have been informed by the retailers the operating hours of Waterglade Retail Park in Clacton were extended over the festive period, this was not communicated at the time with GroupNexus.

"However, upon appeal, we have spoken to our client and agreed to cancel the parking charge.

"This was communicated to the motorist in question by post on January 31 and again by email earlier this week."

Despite being let off the fine, Tracy has now vowed to start a campaign with a view of tougher rules for private car park operators to be put into force.