Members have spoken of their anger after a large swimming gala caused chaos and confusion at Winchester Sport & Leisure Park.
People say they were unaware that a largescale event would be taking place when they turned up on Saturday, November 3.
The leisure centre car park was rammed over the weekend while the facility hosted the two-day Swim England gala event.
A message on Everyone Active’s website warned of pool closures, but frustrated gym users say no contingency plan was put in place to allow for the added influx of visitors.
They have also bemoaned communication between Everyone Active and city council traffic wardens after some received tickets for parking in the wrong place.
One member, who wished not to be named, attended the leisure centre on Saturday morning in hope of a “relaxing” weekend gym session.
After circling the car park to no avail, she asked staff whether it would be possible to park up on the kerb instead.
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“They told me it wouldn’t be a problem as long as there was enough room for an ambulance or fire engine, which there was,” she said.
However, after returning to her vehicle she found a £50 fine stuck to her windscreen.
“It was absolutely heaving,” she added. “There were cars parked everywhere. I think it’s a really poor show that people are told one thing by Everyone Active and then the city council swoops in and tickets everyone. I’ve not had a ticket in 10 years of living in Winchester and normally I’m very mindful. It feels like a slap in the face.
“Lots of members are disgruntled. They’re just shutting the pool whenever they want, making loads of money without any regard for how many people arrive in the car park, and those who are paying their memberships every month don’t get a refund, they get parking tickets instead.
“I really think on principle I shouldn’t have to go and park in another car park when I use the gym.”
She has already contested the parking ticket and is hoping to get it revoked by civic chiefs.
“I just don’t think the city council and leisure centre worked very well together on this,” she added. “If there is a special event going on and parking is going to be a problem then tell people and we can all work together.”
Alison Lewis, area contract manager at Everyone Active, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience the Swim England gala caused our members over the weekend.
“Everyone Active colleagues did not instruct members where to park in order to access the centre, however, we would always encourage visitors to use the dedicated parking bays. During busy periods, there is also the park and ride car parks opposite.
“The Winchester Sport & Leisure Park’s car park is monitored by Winchester City Council’s enforcement team and as with all monitored car parks, customers park at their own risk if they do not park within allocated spaces.”
Winchester Sport & Leisure Park is run by Everyone Active on behalf of the city council.
Winchester City Council has been contacted for comment.
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