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Norwich parking fine row

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:46 02 July 2010

They say you lose pounds at a gym but some fitness aficionados have been left £190 out of pocket after landing a fine while working out.

They say you lose pounds at a gym but some fitness aficionados have been left £190 out of pocket after landing a fine while working out.

Users of Riverside Leisure Centre in Norwich have been given fines of £95 despite using the venue's car park for legitimate reasons.

The complex in Wherry Road, near the Norwich City football ground, is managed by Leisure Connections on behalf of Norwich City Council but the car park is operated by G24.

It is one of just two swimming pools in the city and is one of the few council-owned, public fitness facilities in Norwich.

Parking is restricted to two and a half hours and members have to sign out on a paper sheet at reception if they run over time.

Today, gym users have warned others using the centre that they could be hit in the pocket.

Martyn Forrest, 40, from Spixworth, has been a member of the gym for about five years. He received two parking tickets within a couple of weeks after doing two classes in one evening and running over time.

He appealed against the parking ticket, sending evidence of his membership and previous successful appeals, but still G24 are insisting that he coughs up the cash.

Mr Forrest said: “It's ridiculous. I've had to pay £190 for two day's worth of gym - they say you lose pounds at the gym but that's not the sort of pounds I wanted to lose.

“It shouldn't be the case that you can't win your appeal. It's not right. If it does not get resolved, I will be looking at another gym because you can't run the risk of getting a fine and you can put that money towards a much better gym with better service, facilities and their own car park.”

Mr Forrest, who uses the gym four or five times a week, said the process has changed and that previously the gym would appeal on people's behalf. He said the gym had appealed successfully in the past.

Charlotte Pentney, 24, from Long Stratton, has been to the classes at the gym twice and has been fined on both occasions.

She said: “It seems extortionate, especially when there's proof that you are there legitimately.”

It is not the first time people have had issues with G24 which also runs the car park at the Riverside retail park.

As recently reported in the Evening News, Mathew Browes and his wife Jolene, 32, were given a £60 fine even though they were there for less than 40 minutes.

Lee Sherratt, regional manager at Riverside Leisure Centre, said: “Our car park at Riverside Leisure Centre is managed by an external company, G24. If one of our customers has received a car parking fine, our policy requires us to refer them to G24, which will deal with the enquiry.”

A City Hall spokesman also confirmed that the centre was managed by Leisure Connections but that the car park was operated by G24.

A spokesman from G24 said they did not want to comment.

Have you had problems parking at Riverside Leisure Centre? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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