Drivers warning for car park scam at UK winter funland – ‘absolutely shocking’

TikTok user shouted at by man in parking row

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A Christmas day out to the newly-opened Winter Funland in Manchester was spoiled by opportunist scammers luring drivers to park their cars for £10 a time, despite parking at the event being completely free.

The festive funfair opened earlier this month at the Bowlers Exhibition centre and attracted families from across the region.

But as they queued in their cars they were approached by men wearing high-visibility jackets demanding they follow them and pay them a hefty fee.

They were then directed away from the main car park and to unlicensed areas nearby.

Angry parents caught up in the scam have taken to social media in order to warn other visitors against making the same mistake.

One woman posted to a community Facebook group, saying: “Just a heads up… anyone going to Winter Funland… there were a few lads scamming various cars for parking.

“As we approached Winter Funland there were lads in high-vis directing people to a car park – all looked normal – with yellow ‘parking this way’ signs up etc, taking £10 off each car.

“When I questioned why it was £10 as it was supposed to be included in the price the guy just said that there has been confusion with the documents sent and it’s £10 for parking.

“This guy made a killing today.”

Other visitors commented on the event’s official Facebook page, explaining that the scammers had put fake roadblocks in place to stop people from entering the main car park.

One commenter said: “Those f** on the main gate stopping people getting in to park didn’t even work there by the sounds of it!!! Absolutely shocking that the event staff didn’t move them on.”

Another added: “They charged me £10 to park on a road that anyone can park on.

“When questioned about it he said it was the guy who owned the road that was charging people that price.”

Winter Funland organisers also took to Facebook to urge people to report the scammers and remind visitors that parking is free.

They wrote: “We have had issues today with scammers trying to tell people that they need to pay.

“Please ignore them and proceed to Bowlers Arena car park for plenty of free parking.

“The police are investigating.”

Greater Manchester Police are said to be monitoring the situation and urging those affected to report it.

A spokesperson said: “Officers are aware of the situation on Longbridge Road, Trafford Park, and the neighbourhood team is working with the manager of the facility.

“However, no victims have so far come forward – anyone who believes they have been wrongly charged can report it to police.”

Earlier this year in Manchester police warned travellers driving to the airport to be wary of fake ‘meet and greet’ parking services, who were taking cars hundreds of miles without permission.

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