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Teacher refused mortgage because of Parking Eye ticket from Halfords

She says she feels her life has been put on hold

Sarah Arrowsmith, who was refused a mortgage because of a parking ticket, is pictured with fiancé Ross Tredger.

A teacher was refused a mortgage on her first home because of a parking ticket that she was told had been cancelled.

Sarah Arrowsmith had been lumped with a poor credit rating because of a County Court ­Judgement she didn't know about.

Now the three-bedroom house she and her fiancé Ross Tredger had set their hearts on has been sold to someone else.

Sarah, 28, got a ticket after leaving her car at Halfords overnight while it was being serviced. Private firm Parking Eye said she had overstayed the limit at the Wyvern Retail Park, in Derby.

She said: “I contacted Halfords and they said, ‘You’re exempt from paying this.’ They rang Parking Eye and said it was cancelled.”

There were two more demands, but Halfords told her each time that the ticket would be cancelled.

Sarah changed address in the meantime and had no idea that the case had gone to county court with the original £60 penalty mounting with costs to £197.

“I never received a letter from the court about the CCJ,” she says. “The first I heard about it was when our mortgage application was denied. I was in tears. We had done all of the checks and were about to submit our offer.

“I had to look up what a CCJ was. I am a very law-abiding citizen and I always pay off my credit cards each month.

“We’re absolutely devastated that this mistake has prevented us from getting a mortgage. It’s hard enough for young people to get on the housing ladder.”

Sarah, of Burton, is now trying to get the judgement removed from her credit file before she and Ross, 30, start house-hunting again.

Fined for parking at Aldi when I wasn’t there

Shopping at supermarket ended up with a demand for 16 hours’ stay

I received a parking charge from Parking Eye for a visit to an Aldi store in Oldbury (near Birmingham), claiming I was there for 16 hours, which I can prove is incorrect. I’d gone to the store on 7 January to buy a fryer on offer. As there were none in stock, I left and was only in the car park a few minutes.

I went back the following evening (8 January) but, again, they were sold out. After leaving Oldbury I visited two Aldi stores in Netherton, finally getting the fryer from the store at Pear Tree Lane and (according to my receipt) paying at 20:13, so would have left that car park around 20:15.

However, the parking charge records say I was still at the Oldbury site and fails to pick me up leaving the store. I have appealed and am disgusted that this is how Aldi treats loyal customers. I also received the letter after the early payment date had passed. My receipt proves my vehicle was elsewhere. What do I do if they reject my appeal? PR, Rowley Regis, West Midlands

Aldi has confirmed the charge was incorrectly issued and has been cancelled, so there’s no need for an appeal. A spokesman said: “Our parking management provider has confirmed that the charge was incorrectly issued due to a technical error. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused PR.”

That said, we have seen many examples of supermarket visitors wrongly being caught out when making double visits, identified and explained by the Parking Prankster blogger and website.

This is down to automatic numberplate recognition technology, which records multiple short visits being shown as one long visit, typically leading, as in your case, to a parking charge notice being issued when it should not have been.

Parking Prankster explains: “ANPR technology is not the same as CCTV; it does not record a continuous stream of images. A photograph is only taken and recorded when a numberplate is detected.” Many operators, it adds, pretend the “double visit” problem does not occur.

But it seems to happen with such regularity it’s time major parking operators, linked up with supermarkets, take the necessary measures to ensure regular shoppers are not so unfairly penalised.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number

Tele steps in after disabled woman wrongly fined £100 for parking at Costa in Carnoustie

Melanie Forrest had been incorrectly fined for parking in the Costa car park

A disabled woman has expressed relief after the Tele stepped in to have a parking fine that was incorrectly issued to her cancelled.

Melanie Forrest, 56, visited the Carnoustie branch of Costa Coffee earlier this month to buy a drink.

When she left the customer car park, a camera system picked up her registration and issued a fine despite her being parked legitimately.

Melanie said she was shocked to receive the £100 fine at her home in Leven days after her visit.

When she initially received the fine Melanie submitted a copy of her receipt to show she had a right to park there to the operator Civil Enforcement Ltd.

Despite this proof, the company demanded she pay the fine or face additional fees and even legal action. It was then that Melanie asked the Tele to step in.

We tried to contact Civil Enforcement Ltd to ask why she was being chased for the money but were unsuccessful.

We then contacted Costa Coffee on Melanie’s behalf and the firm subsequently cancelled the fine.

28th April 2017

More than 80 motorists wrongly fined in nightmare Northallerton parking fiasco

A ‘NIGHTMARE’ parking fiasco has caused stress for scores of motorists who have been wrongly issued fines and court threats for parking in Northallerton.

The Alpha Dental Studio on Brompton Road contracted the services of Smart Parking Ltd last year to monitor their car park in a bid to stop non-patients from taking up the spaces.

In recent months the system, which requires dental patients to enter their registration number when they arrive for an appointment, has led to more than 80 motorists being wrongly fined.

The partners at Alpha say they are “incredibly frustrated” with the situation and have made repeated attempts to get patients’ fines overturned by Smart Parking.

Ian Gordon, a partner of the Alpha dental group, said that initially Smart Parking would overturn incorrectly issued fines, but in recent months they changed that policy and have been virtually non-contactable ever since.

The dental surgery has even drafted in a solicitor as well as contacting the British Parking Association and POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals) to try and resolve matters for those issued fines incorrectly.

Alpha has now cancelled its contract with Smart Parking and Mr Gordon described the situation as “an absolute nightmare”.

He added: “We are absolutely frustrated.

“We did it (controlled parking) with the best interests of our patients at heart and it has just backfired.”

Lynne Halls’ parents George and Joan Storey are among those who have wrongly received penalty notices of £100.

These were then followed up by debt recovery letters stating that the fine has risen to £160 with a recommendation that court action should be taken if not paid.

Mrs Halls, whose 70-year-old mother has a brain tumour, says the stress of the letters and court threats have been keeping her parents awake at night.

She said: “We have got letters absolutely petrifying them about going to court.

“I say ‘bring it on’ we have not done anything wrong.

“But my mum, instead of enjoying any time she has left, she is petrified of dad going to court.”

Despite repeated attempts to contact Smart Parking via telephone and email, nobody responded to our request for a comment.

#142 and 143

If ParkingEye Ltd had proof that both of these people had done what they were accused of, you can bet your bottom dollar they would never have cancelled them.


Patients, visitors and staff are being 'wrongly issued' £70 hospital parking fines

Anyone who visits the hospital is asked to enter their car registration into a machine at reception

Staff, patients and visitors to a Cardiff hospital are receiving £70 parking fines from a private firm – despite claiming to have done absolutely nothing wrong.

Gary Snowball says he drove his 82-year-old mother Jean Snowball, who has dementia, to have her bloods taken at St David’s Hospital in Canton, Cardiff, on February 8.

He said he parked in a visitor space, inputted his car’s registration into the machine on reception as required, went to the appointment and then left the hospital 10 minutes later.

But Gary claims he received a parking charge notice (PCN) from Parking Eye, the company responsible for the hospital’s car park, a fortnight later, ordering him to pay a fine or face possible court action.

Gary Snowball, of Pontcanna, Cardiff, with his mother Jean (Image: Richard Williams)

“I understand being given something like this if you park in the wrong place or you don’t input your registration – but I did everything correctly,” said Gary, who is a full-time carer to his mum.

“It’s just shocking. I’ve tried contacting Parking Eye and there is just nobody to contact to reason with.

“There is a CCTV camera at reception which would show me putting my registration into the machine. I’ve tried to obtain it from the security staff, but due to data protection they won’t give it to me.

“It was alarming to be sent this letter demanding money off me. My mum, who has advanced dementia, is very upset by it all.”

St David's Hospital has very clear signs detailing what visitors need to do when they park on the site

The car park at St David’s Hospital, on Cowbridge Road East , has been operated by Parking Eye since December 12, 2016.

Anyone who visits the hospital is asked to enter their car registration into a machine in reception which allows them to park free of charge for two hours.

But if they fail to do so before they leave the hospital, Parking Eye issues the driver with a £70 fine which is reduced to £40 if it’s paid within a fortnight.

Drivers are also given the same fine if they spend longer than two hours at the hospital and fail to notify a member of staff that they need an extension.

Staff working at the hospital say the parking regulations have been a “nightmare” since they were brought in two years ago – and have reduced some visitors to tears.

Helen Pickett, from Bridgend, who works as a podiatrist at St David’s Hospital, also claims to have been given a PCN for no reason.

She said she parked in the staff car park as usual on the morning of January 17 but has since been sent demands for a £70 payment.

Helen Pickett, from Bridgend, works as a podiatrist at St David's Hospital in Cardiff (Image: Helen Pickett)

“I received a fine for parking in a patient and visitor space,” she said.

“I have never once, not even for five minutes, parked there as I know I’ll get fined, so I stick to the staff areas where there is always space.

“I appealed but that was unsuccessful as they said I failed to provide evidence that I had parked in the staff area on that day.

“I now have to take photographs of my car every time I park up so I actually have proof. It’s ridiculous.

“I’m happy to go to court and fight this if I have to as I’ve done nothing wrong. It doesn’t help that our bosses are not interested in helping us in any way. 

“I feel upset that the NHS has got contracts with a company that allows patients, visitors and staff to be bullied in this way.”

Helen says she feels 'bullied' by Parking Eye

Parking Eye, which also operates at the University Hospital of Wales and University Hospital Llandough, said they have no record of Gary Snowball inputting his registration into the machine in reception.

They also retain the belief that Helen Pickett parked in a visitor space at the hospital, although they have not confirmed whether they have photographic proof of this.

A Parking Eye spokesman said: “Our state-of-the-art automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems identify vehicles that enter and exit car parks under our management.

"Across the UK hundreds of thousands of motorists now use this user-friendly system every day without any issues.

“As a member of the British Parking Association (BPA), we follow its strict code of practice in all car parks we manage on behalf of our clients.

“Once a parking charge is issued, every motorist has the opportunity to lodge a formal appeal with us using our BPA audited appeals process.”

The spokesman added that the fines of both people will now be cancelled as a "gesture of goodwill".


Shopper wrongly fined [by Horizon Ltd] after Vangarde parking camera blunder

A SHOPPER was wrongly fined £80 for parking too long at a York shopping centre after her car was mistaken for another one with an almost identical registration number.

Yvonne Mulvaney said she drove to the Vangarde shopping park to visit the John Lewis store on April 12.

She said she stayed there for less than two hours and so was shocked when she received a parking charge notice in the post a few days later, claiming she was parked for more than five hours and exceeded the maximum permitted time.

The letter from Horizon Parking stated he had breached Vangarde terms and conditions after arriving at 10.40am and leaving at 15.50, adding: "Overstay duration: 1hr, 10mins."

But accompanying photographs used to justify the fine showed two different cars entering and leaving the car park.

The first correctly showed her red Vauxall Corsa, with a registration number of YH64CVR, entering at 10.40.

But the second showed a black car of a different make, with one different letter in the registration plate, leaving at 15.50.

The letter said her registered keeper details had been obtained from DVLA and she was liable to pay £80, although this would be reduced to £45 if she paid within 14 days.

Shocked by the demand, she decided she wasn't going to accept the fine and made a complaint to Vangarde, where a member of staff took the matter up.

She said she had now received confirmation in writing from Horizon Parking that they had cancelled the Parking Charge Notice and removed her details from their database, and also sent her a gift voucher, but she was still unhappy she had been put through the experience and it had put her off returning to shop at the store.

"I feel these companies are very quick off the mark to issue these demands but, in this instance, haven't checked the facts carefully and have pursued an innocent motorist needlessly," said Yvonne, from Leeds.

"What had been a nice trip now has unpleasant connotations attached to it. It has caused me stress and a great deal of annoyance.

"I have written to DVLA requiring them to explain why they issue personal data without checking the validity of the request."

Will Dickson, director for Horizon Parking Limited, said all its Parking Charge Notices (PCN) were checked and verified by its head-office team prior to them being issued.

"Having investigated this situation, we’ve unfortunately made an error with the vehicle registration differing between photographs by one character," he said.

"Considering more than 30,000 cars pass by the cameras at Vangarde Shopping Park in a week, this is a rare occurrence.

“As soon as we were notified that this error had been made, we immediately cancelled the PCN and, as a gesture of goodwill, also provided the customer with a John Lewis voucher to apologise for the inconvenience caused.

“We take accuracy of our car park management very seriously and have therefore taken further steps regarding our vehicle checks to avoid this reoccurring in future.”
General No To Mob Discussion / Re: Cornwall Parking Charge
« Last post by Ewan Hoosami on 22 May, 2019, 08:38:52 AM »
Whereabouts your mate live Jonesy? Don't say GlenMcScruddock or anywhere like that  <thinking>

Note there is no admission by the council of a mistake, but later in the article they state "In this respect following a review by Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, the grounds of appeal relied on in this particular case are no longer available."

So no admission, but they have put their mistake right so that the loophole is closed to any motorist who doesn't pay in the future.

Feckin typical.  <bashy2> :bashy: <bashy2> :bashy: <bashy2> :bashy:


How you could contest a Mersey Gateway Fine after landmark ruling upheld

A transport watchdog said the case raised "significant issues that go to the heart of the Mersey Gateway Bridge charging scheme"

John McGoldrick, of Scrap Mersey Tolls, pictured here protesting at the Mersey Tunnels, has branded the situation of Mersey Gateway tolls and penalty notices a 'disgrace'.

Thousands of Mersey Gateway fines could be unenforceable after a landmark ruling about the controversial bridge was upheld.

The ruling saw a wily driver expose a catalogue of errors in the wording of two Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) he received for failing to pay  to go over the  bridge, leading to the charges being scrapped.

Incredibly, one of those errors was the use of the word “toll” in the PCN , when the legal term is actually "road user charge."

A Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) adjudicator said drivers do not pay a toll to cross the Mersey Gateway, as is stated by Halton Borough Council , but a "road user charge", which is legally different, making the fine "defective".

The case was brought by Scrap Mersey Tolls (SMT) campaigner Damien Curzon in March and has been upheld this week.

It means hundreds of drivers could contest their fines on the same grounds.

A spokesperson from the TPT said The Curzon case  raised "significant issues that go to the heart of the Mersey Gateway Bridge charging scheme"  and there were no legal grounds to justify overturning it.

He explained:  "The decision is treated as ‘persuasive’ by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal adjudicators.

"This means – as in any Tribunal – that there is a presumption that adjudicators will follow the findings and reasoning in Adjudicator Kennedy’s judgment when deciding appeals raising the same issues. Each case is decided on its own merits and evidence, so an adjudicator will explain where different facts or principles apply.

"The findings in Curzon will be followed until and unless HBC applies to the High Court for Judicial Review of Adjudicator Kennedy’s decision.

"There were a number of cases on hold pending the outcome of this review decision. These will now be dealt with as soon as possible."

In deciding Mr Curzon's case, adjudicator M.F Kennedy said referring to non-payment of a “required toll” breached 2013 Regulations under the Transport Act 2000, and made the PCN issued “defective."

It was this and various other errors known as ‘ procedural improprieties’   that rendered the fines unenforceable.

Other mistakes that came to light during the Curzon case included use of the world "toll" on the bridge signage and the use of third party body Merseyflow to enforce the fines, as opposed to Halton Borough Council.

Halton Council, who are the charging authority, had applied to the TPT to revoke the decision made by Mrs Kennedy, but this was refused.

In dismissing the review request, Deputy Chief Adjudicator Mr Knapp found that the local authority  had not established that the findings of Adjudicator Kennedy’s original decision could be described as ‘perverse or irrational, or amounting to an error of law’, as required by legal regulations.

The decision has been welcomed by Scrap Mersey Toll campaigners (SMT), who said the ruling is an "unshakable example" that the penalties on the bridge scheme  are not enforceable.

John McGoldrick, of Scrap Mersey Tolls said: "Scrap Mersey Tolls did not fear any review of the TPT decision as we  believed that there was an unshakable case that the penalties are not  enforceable.

"Now there is not to be a review, it highlights that  Halton Council and its allies are ignoring the fact that the penalties are not enforceable. Merseyflow continue to go on the rampage persecuting drivers for thousands of pounds in penalties that the Council know are not enforceable. This is causing increasing aggravation with people being frightened by demands, court documents, 'final notices' and visits from enforcement officers."

However Halton council, who are no strangers to being challenged by the TPT , have responded by insisting it's "business as usual on the Mersey Gateway".

A spokeswoman said: "Halton Borough Council has been made aware of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Adjudicator’s decision in a recent appeal case and the further decision by the same organisation to deny the Council a Review of the decision.

"The Council is currently reviewing its position.

"The Council will continue to contest PCN appeals based upon the circumstances applicable at the time of any failure to pay the toll and to each case in question.

"In this respect following a review by Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, the grounds of appeal relied on in this particular case are no longer available."

Last year, the TPT ruled that five drivers were not liable to pay the toll because the council had not specified the price of  them in their Road User Charging Scheme Order.

It led to calls for all  tolls to be refunded and fines to be scrapped from both SMT campaigners and high profile legal experts.

In light of the most recent blunder,  the council spokeswoman said the local authority would wish to reiterate that:

Adjudication by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) cannot and does not, in law, invalidate or remove the powers in place from the 14 October 2017 to administer and enforce tolls on the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

Adjudication is specific to the case being considered, and any decision of an Adjudicator only relates to that particular case.

A decision of TPT does not have general effect nor carry any weight as precedent.

Any suggestion that the Council has no power to charge or enforce how it does this or that the Council is acting inappropriately or “illegally” is misleading, inaccurate and wrong in law.

The Adjudicators decision in respect of signage demonstrates the inconsistency of TPT in determining Mersey Gateway cases as it contradicts the decision of the Adjudicator in an early case where the Adjudicator concluded signage is “large, well sited, in clear view, and to communicate to a driver unfamiliar with the area that a payment was required and how to pay”
General No To Mob Discussion / Re: Cornwall Parking Charge
« Last post by The Bald Eagle on 22 May, 2019, 08:16:55 AM »
Bear with me. I'm not an expert but I know some people who are... ;)
General No To Mob Discussion / Re: Cornwall Parking Charge
« Last post by jonesy on 20 May, 2019, 08:56:23 PM »
Further development....
a letter has been received with a heading in bold type Letter of Claim
it now states that bw Legal have been instructed by KBT Cornwall t/a Armtrac are to commence legal action in  the form of issuing a claim against the person at the county court in respect of the above debt.
it goes on to say that such legal action may result in "the person"  being liable to court fees solicitors c
fees and statutory interest which they estimate as £107.33 plus the original charge of £160 total £267.33

They further state that payment of the £160 or reasons for not paying are required by 14 June 2019 to avoid the legal action.

the rest of the letter contain details on hoi wto pay, setting up an on line account,

Atick box form asking if....  Box A i agrere tio the debt.
                                        Box B I owe some of it
                                                explain why you dont owe as much ....

                                        Box C I dont know whether i owe the debt.. if ticked go to section 3

                                        Box D I dispute thye debt... explian why provide as much detail as possible etc..

                                        Box E I will pay what I owe.

                                         Box F I will pay but i need  more time.

                                         my proposed payment method fpr repayment are.....
                                         Box G I am getting or intending to get deby advice.
 ec etc etc

and on the reverse page there is income and expenditure form which ask you to provide income details priority expenditure, household and living expenditure and surplus/deficit.

also enclosed is Annex 1 information sheet which states that

You have recieved this notice because a business intends to take you to court in relation to a dept. This notice tells you what to do next. including how to avoid court action

It provides debt advice information such as citizens advice, civil legal advice line, National debt line, Christians against poverty line,

Over to you guys for your surmising  .

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