Rip Off Britain: Lawyer Gary Rycroft gives tips on parking tickets
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An elderly driver named Lizo Ngqobongwana has called the situation “grossly unfair” and has vowed to fight the penalty notice. The 67-year-old attempted to pay for parking three times but was unable to due to an error message being displayed on the car park machine.
Mr Ngqobongwana then decided to leave the car park and park somewhere else to avoid getting a fine.
However, he later received a letter with the penalty notice attached to it, The Sun reported.
The 67-year-old said: “I drove into the Lido Car Park, parked my car in a designated parking bay and went to look at the large notice board with the payment instructions.
“The Lido Car Park instructions were different and I was directed to send my vehicle registration to a five-digit number and follow further instructions.”
He continued: “After trying to follow the instructions on three occasions and getting error messages I gave up in frustration and left the car park to search for alternative parking.
“Not long after, I received a Parking Charge Notice for £100 in the post.
“I immediately appealed providing evidence of my repeated attempts to pay. However, I received the devastating news that my appeal was unsuccessful.
“I believe charging me £100 (£60 if paid within 14 days) for being in a car park trying to pay for parking is grossly unfair and unjust and I intend to challenge this charge because this reminds me of the days when unscrupulous companies used to clamp motorists and demand cash payments to release them.”
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Mr Ngqobongwana added that he believed the notice was “tantamount to extortion”.
A spokesperson for Parking Eye Ltd, the company that operates the car park, said: “The car park at the Lido in Cliftonville is monitored by ANPR camera systems and has prominent and highly-visible signs throughout providing guidance on how to use the car park responsibly.
“Visitors have the option to pay by phone or by using one of two user-friendly machines.
“The motorist didn’t make any payment for his parking and therefore received a parking charge notice.
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“Our records show that on three occasions guidance to successfully pay was sent by text on how to pay by phone and the payment machines took transactions successfully during this timeframe.
“Parking Eye operates a BPA (British Parking Association) audited appeals process, which motorists can use to appeal their Parking Charge Notice.
“If anyone has mitigating circumstances, we would encourage them to highlight this by appealing.”
The news comes after another driver was fined for parking despite using a car park machine to pay.
Jessica Ledwards was fined by Cheshire East Council despite paying £3 for all-day parking.
She paid at a machine using the PayByPhone app but when she returned, she noticed that her car has been slapped with a ticket.
Ms Ledwards, who is the manager of Regis Hair Salon, told Cheshire Live: “I paid for my parking on Snow Hill.
“It located it on my phone and when I came back to my car I had a parking fine. I knew that wasn’t right because I’d paid.”
However, upon inspecting her parking receipt, she realised that she had paid for the wrong car park.
The parking receipt that the machine provided Ms Ledwars with was for First Wood Car Park – even though she used the machine at Snow Hill.
Cheshire East Council said under the circumstances outlined here, there would be grounds for an appeal.
The council added that each case is assessed on its merits and Ms Ledwards can appeal by following the guidelines on the reverse of the penalty charge notice.
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