‘Happiness course’ guests slapped with parking fines

Guests attending a ‘happiness’ course ran by Tanya Hemphill (pictured) have been slapped with £100s worth of parking fines

Furious guests who had signed up for a ‘happiness’ course at a Cheshire hotel left feeling anything but, after they were slapped with £100s worth of parking fines.

Those who signed up for the £90 eight week course which ran from October 11 last year to November 29 claimed they believed that parking would be free. 

However a new parking system was introduced after The Bridge Hotel went into liquidation in October which the guests claim they weren’t made aware of.

Four people attending the happiness course were hit with parking fines which they say they were told to ignore by hotel staff – only causing them to increase.

Tanya Hemphill, 44, who ran the course, said three people on the course missed their opportunity to appeal after being falsely reassured by staff.

She said: ‘It is particularly shocking because we had been on the course for some time before we received the fines. To receive something like this, out of the blue, reflects very badly.

‘They are all really worried about having this fine against their name but they don’t have the money to pay for the it. You go on a course and there was nothing about paying for parking and you are hit with a fine that you have to pay £160 or you will be taken to court is obviously very hard for them.’

Tanya also received a fine but appealed before the deadline and had her fine dropped.

The new system involved registering your cars at reception but it has been claimed by guests that they were only notified of this two weeks before the end of the course.

The course was held at The Bridge Hotel in Prestbury, Cheshire (pictured) and guests claim that they were never informed about the new parking system

The course was held at The Bridge Hotel in Prestbury, Cheshire (pictured) and guests claim that they were never informed about the new parking system

She said: ‘I contacted POPLA before Christmas and have been successful in my appeal but the others who have missed the 28 day period thought that it was going to be fine.’

Lisa Kelly, 50, was slapped with £320 worth of fines, says she has been left in a constant state of worry.

Miss Kelly, who works in social care, said: ‘It has really raised my anxiety levels, because of the fact that we went on happiness course but it doesn’t seem to have created much happiness.

‘And it plays on my mind, the injustice, because the only time there was any sign was about two weeks before the course ended; there was nothing before that. And you would have thought the staff would have said something to the people on the course.’

The administrators took control of the Bridge Hotel in October and a new parking system was introduced at the beginning of November. It is not clear whether the parking system is still in place.

The Bridge Hotel and Moorfields, the hotel’s liquidator, refused to comment.

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