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Offline Web Admin

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Ticket the old, they'll always pay
« on: 01 August, 2014, 12:07:07 PM »


Ticket the old, they'll always pay: How the ruthless parking cowboys tell their wardens to exploit the vulnerable

    War veterans, great-grandmothers and vulnerable hospital patients are singled out in 'unjust and immoral' practice
    Dozens of elderly drivers tell Mail how they are being threatened and pursued by bailiffs over minor parking queries
    Many have fallen victim to a string of 'dirty tricks' with companies said to use intentionally small warnings on signs
    Scroll down to print off your free 'Get Lost Parking Pirates' sign, and for details on how to receive a sticker by post


By Paul Bentley and Jim Norton and Rebecca Evans

Published: 00:40, 1 August 2014 | Updated: 09:06, 1 August 2014


Elderly drivers are being ruthlessly targeted by cowboy parking squads because they are most likely to pay up, it has been claimed.

War veterans, great-grandmothers and vulnerable hospital patients are singled out, with bosses allegedly telling wardens: ‘Ticket the elderly, they will pay.’

The ‘unjust and immoral’ practice has emerged as dozens of elderly drivers told the Mail how they were being threatened and pursued by bailiffs over minor parking queries.

Many have fallen victim to a string of ‘dirty tricks’, with companies said to use intentionally small warnings on signs and ticket machines.

Last night, politicians and campaigners said the firms were deliberately trapping elderly people.

Nick Smith, Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent, has heard from dozens of elderly and distressed constituents who have been caught out in private car parks.

‘I’m fed up with poor signage in car parks which confuses and confounds the motorist,’ he said.

‘There is a veil of secrecy about the business practices of private car park operators that needs to be lifted.

‘What’s needed is independent and effective regulation of the private car parking industry, which puts the consumer interest first.’

AA president Edmund King added: ‘We think some of the signage is really confusing in order to catch out elderly drivers as they are an easy target.

‘The companies know they won’t appeal if threatened with bailiffs and legal letters. It is unacceptable these companies are targeting them.’

Claims that wardens are hounding the elderly come after the Mail revealed hundreds of thousands of drivers are being ‘fined’ by private parking firms, often with little reason and without legal authority.

Signs are often difficult to make out and payment machines can be complicated, involving keying the driver’s number plate into a computer system.

Whistleblower Tony Taylor, who worked for one of the firms until December, said bosses told wardens to focus on ticketing pensioners.

The company – UK Parking Control – runs car parks for NHS hospitals, Royal Mail and a number of high street shops and restaurants, including McDonalds and Marks & Spencer.

Mr Taylor said: ‘The wardens are told to target the elderly and disabled. The elderly are likely to pay.

‘They are very scared. They are vulnerable. They don’t want debt or to have to go to court. As soon as they see a letter they will pay. They are easy targets. It is unjust and totally immoral.’

Wardens are allegedly instructed never to tell pensioners who complain about their rights to appeal.

Information about how to appeal is written on tickets in tiny font, making it very difficult for elderly people to read, he added.

Great-grandmother Penny Gorst, 88, was given a £70 ticket for ‘inappropriate use’ of an Aldi car park – because she popped into church before doing her weekly grocery shop at the supermarket.

She has refused to pay Parking Eye, which runs the car park, and has since received an aggressively worded warning from the firm.

The widow from Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, said: ‘It is a bullying thing. Some people are rather frightened when they get these letters and just pay the money, but I won’t.’

Veronica Holt, 73, went 11 minutes over the two-hour limit at a Lidl store in Aberystwyth after her car battery failed.

She was sent threatening legal letters from Parking Eye demanding £85 immediately or this plus £65 court fees if she wished to legally challenge the fine.

Frightened, she felt forced to pay the charge. ‘It’s time somebody stood up to them and their bullying tactics,’ she said. ‘I found it all most distressing.’

Staff and customers at a Waitrose store in Teignmouth, Devon, said private wardens specifically targeted elderly customers.

The store allows free parking for 90 minutes but a few signs warn any time over this ‘may result in a parking charge notice of £70’.

A former Waitrose employee said: ‘The number of people coming in to complain they had been hit with a big fine was phenomenal.’

UKPC said last night that ‘none of these allegations are company policy’ and the firm does ‘not believe they are true’.

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Simply print out the notice above and put it in a prominent place on your car windscreen or side window.

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CASE STUDY 1: DISABLED GRANDMOTHER AND A FAULTY TICKET MACHINE

A disabled grandmother is suffering sleepless nights because she is fretting over how she can afford a £100 parking fine.

Barbara Turrall-Kelly only received the ticket because of a faulty machine, but she has now been warned bailiffs could turn up at her house if she does not pay up.

The 77-year-old from Bodmin, who suffers from osteoarthritis, was taking the bus from Bodmin to Plymouth to visit a friend in hospital in June.

The former nursing assistant left her car in a private car park owned by Armtrac Security Services and put £3 into the ticket machine for a day’s parking.

But the machine spat out £1 and gave her a ticket that would not give her enough time for the 60-mile round trip.

With no time to get more change before the bus left, she bought another ticket for £1 and scribbled a note explaining what had happened.

But when she returned at 2.30pm, a parking fine for £60 was on her windscreen.

Mrs Turrall-Kelly, who lives on a State pension, appealed against the fine – but it was refused because  Armtrac ‘do not accept notes written and placed in the vehicle because anyone could write a note and place it within the vehicle’.

The ‘threatening’ letter also warned that bailiffs would turn up at her house if she did not pay in time.

Mrs Turrall-Kelly, pictured right, who has five children and seven grandchildren, said: ‘I’m very distressed because I don’t have any money – I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t think it’s fair, they’re not considering the fact that it wasn’t my fault.’

Mrs Turrall-Kelly, who has lived on her own for 16 years, added: ‘I wake up at night at 2.30am and  the first thing on my mind is this damned fine.’

The fine has now increased to £100. Mrs Turrall-Kelly has appealed to POPLA and will soon find out whether she has escaped the fine. Armtrac could not be reached for comment.

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CASE STUDY 2: FINED £50 FOR ENTERING WRONG REGISTRATION NUMBER

For almost 50 years, Albert Pagan has parked in the same car park during his annual holiday to the Lake District.

After what he experienced this year, however, he will never do so again.

The 85-year-old National Trust member had never had to pay to stay at White Moss car park near Grasmere.

But this year, the retired university lecturer found the park was no longer operated by the charity but instead, a private company called Park With Ease – along with a new machine asking for his registration number.

As he did not know this by memory, he had to return to his car and find a way to write it down.

By this point, Mr Pagan, of Middlesbrough, pictured right with wife Jean, 83, said he felt embarrassed as a queue formed around the machine.

Eventually, he entered what he thought were his details and was told to pay a £2 fee, which he did.

On returning from their holiday, the couple were horrified to discover a letter saying they owed a £50 fine. They were offered a reduced fee of £25 for paying early, which they did.

He said: ‘I felt frightened and upset by the letter. I emailed the company and they said it was because I had entered the wrong registration number. I think it’s a disgrace.’

Pay With Ease did not respond to a request for a comment.

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CASE STUDY 3: PARKING 'BULLIES' IGNORE DISABLED MAN'S APPEALS

A man was stung by a ‘disgraceful’ £60 parking fine at an NHS hospital – despite having a blue badge for the disabled that allowed him free parking.

Jeffrey Glass, 79, from Hertfordshire, condemned the ‘bullies’ who have since ignored his appeals and hounded him and his ill wife for money.

Earlier this month, the part-time butcher, pictured below, picked up his 78-year-old wife Norma, who had spent a week in the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London, after suffering a mini stroke.

Mr Glass, who has osteoarthritis, parked in a disabled bay and put his blue badge in the windscreen – which entitled him to four hours’ free parking. But a week later, he was ‘astonished’ to receive a letter from Parking Eye, saying he had been fined £60.

The ‘threatening’ letter told him he had parked on ‘private land’ and had not paid the requisite £15 for three hours’ parking.

But Mr Glass said his blue badge is visible in the supposedly incriminating photo evidence that came with the letter. He appealed to Parking Eye, but received another letter from the company saying his fine would increase to £100.

Mr Glass said: ‘It 100 per cent feels like I’m being bullied. It’s disgusting – they are targeting elderly people because they think we will pay up.’

Parking Eye was not available  to comment.



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2712690/Ticket-old-theyll-pay-How-ruthless-parking-cowboys-tell-wardens-exploit-vulnerable.html






Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Ticket the old, they'll always pay
« Reply #1 on: 01 August, 2014, 12:35:15 PM »
"Armtrac could not be reached for comment."

"Pay With Ease did not respond to a request for a comment."

"Parking Eye was not available  to comment."


They don't need to comment, not with the BPA doing such a bang up job on their behalf.

After all, what better way to try and stop a campaign against your members than to call the editor of a national newspaper, all the journalists at that newspaper, and the entire government a bunch of "rogues"?

The boys and girls at the BPA will all be limping around the office now, because they were too stoooopid to draw their six shooters before pulling the trigger. :pmsl:



@Ewan: Please tell me you have an appropriate emoticon...?

WE ARE WATCHING YOU

Offline Ewan Hoosami

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Re: Ticket the old, they'll always pay
« Reply #2 on: 01 August, 2014, 01:19:04 PM »
                   


Hope that's not too convoluted. Where were we then? Ah yes,

Monday Musing: You're out of bullets Daily Mail

Friday Fuck-You: The Daily Mail's bullets are manufactured by BPA Ltd members. They're not running out anytime soon.

The BPA Ltd has one of the largest munitions factories in Europe. Our 720 members manufacture armour piercing rounds 24hrs a day 7 days a week. We have a plentiful supply of weapons grade bullshit.

Appealing to the council is like playing chess with a pigeon. You might be a chess grand master but the pigeon will always knock all the pieces over, shit on the board and then strut around triumphantly.

Offline coco

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Re: Ticket the old, they'll always pay
« Reply #3 on: 01 August, 2014, 01:23:20 PM »

@Ewan: Please tell me you have an appropriate emoticon...?


How about


 


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