Author Topic: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work  (Read 180280 times)

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Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #120 on: 05 June, 2017, 10:28:10 AM »


Lidl slaps shopper with £45 parking fine - but customer gets last laugh

The shopper - who had actually visited the store twice that day - was even more determined when her appeal was rejected

A former magistrate gave a Lidl car park more than they bargained for when they attempted to fine her £45 for overstaying.

Former chairman of Kirklees Magistrates’ Court, Eileen Marchant, spent 28 years on the Huddersfield magistrates’ bench, The Examiner reports.

So she was more than ready when the company that manages her local supermarket car park tried to take her on.

The shopper - who had actually visited the store twice that day - was even more determined when her appeal was rejected.

Eileen was slapped with a ticket by Athena Parking , which claimed she had overstayed the limit at the Aspley store.

Eileen Marchant, an experienced former magistrate, has fought and won against a parking fine from a private company

But Eileen appealed as she knew she had not breached the rules.

She had visited twice in one day, both for short periods, returning the second time after forgetting to buy cat food.

Eileen appealed as she was sure evidence from the cameras would see her in the clear.

A veteran of complicated court trials, she compiled the evidence that would provide her alibi.

She posted the parking firm a receipt and a witness statement from the coffee shop she was in when they said she was parked at Lidl.

But she was outraged when her appeal was turned down.

The firm sent her a letter saying they had reviewed the photographic evidence, but she did not believe they had.

Eileen refused to take the set-back lying down.

“I knew I had left the car park in time,” said Eileen.

“They obviously hadn’t bothered to check it out properly – they just turned down my appeal.

“I was most upset with their very aggressive, bully boy tactics.

“Their letter said I had failed to comply and had to pay or enforcement action would be instigated against me."

She added: “It said the appeals process had been exhausted and there was no further discussion on the matter.

“It said I could appeal to the Independent Appeals Service but ended with a thinly veiled threat saying I should think carefully and then written in bold that if my appeal was rejected I would have to pay the full charge.

“Someone who was more easily intimidated than me would just pay it, even if they knew they’d done nothing wrong.”

The fine could have increased to £90 if the matter kept dragging on.

Eileen was about to take action but before she could her ticket was suddenly cancelled.

But she has received no apology.

She has now written a strongly worded letter to the Portsmouth-based parking firm and advised others to make sure they fight their corner.

Refusing to pay a penalty charge notice received at a private car park does not land you in criminal court.

Parking firms would have to take any non-payer to civil court.

Very few do so due to the time and cost involved.

A spokesman for Athena said a mix-up caused by two staff dealing with Eileen's appeal meant it was originally rejected before being successful.

They added: "We have checked our systems and have found no evidence of any error but we have cancelled this charge in any event, on receipt of Eileen Marchant's email."

Refusing to pay Kirklees Council penalty charges is a different matter, which can lead to a criminal court summons.

Lidl did not respond to a request for a comment.

Offline Web Admin

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #121 on: 21 June, 2017, 10:49:25 AM »
#103. Courtesy of the Prankster.


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Excel application to reinstate case thrown out

Excel v Ms X C8DP57P6 26 May 2017, Stockport, DJ Ayres

Back in January Excel's claim against a motorist at the notorious Peel centre was struck out for failing to obey the judge's directions.

Excel thought they had complied so appealed the decision. The relisting hearing was held at Stockport on 26th May. The motorist represented themselves. Excel were represented by Mr Pickup. The Prankster assisted the motorist by suggesting a letter to write to the court to oppose the relisting.

In the hearing District Judge Ayres ordered the application dismissed and the motorist was awarded costs for their expenses of the day. They reported that the the letter did the trick.

DJ Ayres said that Excel would have to start all over again if they wished to pursue the matter.

After the hearing Mr Pickup said that if Excel do decide to restart the case, it would be several months before any decision is made. The Prankster, having seen the papers, has seen that excel were relying on Elliot v Loake. As the driver on the day was not known, and as Excel do not use keeper liability, The Prankster considers that any further money spent on this case would be a waste.

Prankster Notes

A ticket for the time parked was purchased and Excel have not contested that. Unfortunately the purchaser accidentally entered their own car's registration instead of the car which was parked.

Excel's attempt to charge for this accident is therefore a complete waste of time and energy for all parties. Their system is clearly flawed and designed to entrap motorists so they can maximise the number of parking charges issued. A proper system would only allow a registration to be entered if the ANPR system recognises that it [is] in the car park.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Offline dangerous beanz

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #122 on: 27 June, 2017, 12:58:07 AM »
Slightly off topic.
Here's one that does work!
Basingstoke Hospital car park.
When you get to the barrier the ANPR takes your registration, opens the barrier, then you park. When you want to leave, the pay machine takes your registration, charges you accordingly and gives you notice of how long you've got to leave the car park (had two hours once!).
Drive to the gate ANPR recognizes the number plate and opens the barrier.
If the barrier doesn't open for any reason there's a call button for help.
Works seamlessly and apart from one instance of exit camera failure worked fine for all our recent visits.
Bet they don't issue many tickets there though, so I don't think it will catch on.
« Last Edit: 27 June, 2017, 12:59:45 AM by dangerous beanz »
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Offline Ewan Hoosami

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #123 on: 27 June, 2017, 06:04:18 PM »
erm......not as 'off topic' as you may think   <thinking>

Gatwick Airport Long Stay has a similar system: Pre booked online with ANPR assisted barriers. Yes, you book online, the ANPR recognises your plate and lifts the barrier. You can use the call button for assistance if this does not happen. No one gets in without paying (due to the new and radical, ground breaking, barrier system), no sPeCulative iNvoices (PCNs), the parent company makes a profit (I assume they make a profit as they have not gone bust, at the time of posting) and innocent motorists (selfish drivers, for the benefit of parking industry apologists) don't get hauled unnecessarily through the courts.

But, as you say, it won't catch on  <Swearyrant>

So what do we see then?

Contrary to the tone of this thread, ANPR does actually work. It's just that most BPA Ltd and IPC Ltd members choose to make it not work. Deliberately and wilfully [Please insert your favourite profanity here].
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 The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #124 on: 10 July, 2017, 02:41:03 PM »
Driver complaints about car park fine policies hit unprecedented levels

From disputes over ticketing times to mis-typed number plates, thousands of motorists say they are unfairly targeted

Sales agent Ken Barbour, ‘penalised for not buying my ticket before I parked in a space’.

Anna Tims
Monday 10 July 2017 07.00 BST

When Dorothea Matheson parked at a town centre car park, in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, she typed her number plate into the ticket machine and paid the required fee. Two weeks later she received a demand for £60. Her offence was to enter her registration number with a letter O instead of a numeric 0. Despite the fact the two look almost indistinguishable, the parking operator, Smart Parking, declared that the ticket she had bought was invalid. It refused her appeal and she has now received a letter from a debt collection agency threatening court action unless she pays £160. “I wasn’t trying to evade payment. I simply made a genuine error,” says the retired receptionist. “This company acts as judge, jury and executioner.”

Matheson is among thousands of drivers who believe they have been unfairly targeted by companies which patrol privately owned car parks. Visitors to supermarkets, hospitals, airports and shopping malls have received demands for sums of up to three figures despite paying, because of misleading signs or a minor typo.

Citizens Advice Scotland reports that complaints about “over zealous” charges have reached an unprecedented level as companies seek to maximise profits. Trading Standards in Scotland has had to divert stretched funds into investigating what it says is “a surprisingly high number of complaints”.

It’s an industry that is, so far, unregulated. Anyone can set up as a “parking enforcement company” and, although those who sign up to an accredited trade body have to abide by its code of practice, it’s not mandatory to be a member. In 2012 the government established an independent appeals process for motorists in England and Wales, but in Scotland only the company that issues parking charges can adjudicate as to whether its decision is fair. Unsurprisingly, the verdict is usually “yes”.

Sales agent Ken Barbour is also being threatened with court action by Smart Parking’s debt collection agent unless he pays £160. He had paid for two hours parking and returned to his car in Inverness before the ticket expired. However, after entering the car park it had taken him 15 minutes to find a space and then he had to queue for the ticket. Cameras film drivers entering and exiting, and Smart Parking says those minutes are chargeable and that his ticket was therefore not valid.

“It seems that I’m being penalised for not buying my ticket before I parked in a space,” says Barbour. He argued his case via Smart Parking’s online appeals process but says he received no response.

Smart Parking, which declines to comment on individual cases, says that signs state that motorists will be charged for the full period that their vehicle is in the car park. But many motorists assume the clock only starts ticking from when they actually park.

Confusion is compounded by the fact that the ticket machines calculate the required parking time from the moment payment is made. Motorists assume that they have until the time stamped on the ticket, when they might have already unwittingly used up 10 minutes of their paid time finding a space. In order to use the system accurately, drivers are supposed to calculate how much time they want, including the time already spent inside the car park, which means they have to check the time they crossed the threshold and pay for an additional hour if it takes them over the tariff chosen.

Those who choose the option to pay at the end of a visit must recall the precise time they drove into the car park. A newly widowed 80-year-old was recently chased for £160 after underpaying by just 10p in a Perth car park that operates the system. Smart Parking insisted the charge should stand.

“Since the system changed from a simple pay-and-display, charges and complaints have skyrocketed,” says Murdo Fraser, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife who is preparing a members’ bill to demand that private parking in Scotland be regulated. “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Smart Parking is using this system as a revenue raiser.”

Smart Parking, owned by the Australian group Car Parking Technologies, revealed earlier this year that 75% of its revenue comes from parking breach charges and that the number of notices doubled over the 12 months following the roll out of number plate recognition technology. It’s a lucrative business, too, for firms who rely on foot patrols to identify contraventions and who pay “wardens” a commission of up to £30 for every ticket issued .

Private parking firms cannot fine drivers like police and councils. Their demands are simply invoices for breach of contract and are governed by civil law. However, many firms try to blur the difference by calling them Parking Charge Notices (PCNs), similar to local authority Penalty Charge Notices (also known as PCNs), apeing the yellow windscreen tickets issued by local authorities and employing debt collection agencies to chase for non-payment.

In fact, debt collectors have no power to enforce payment or seize goods and many are unregulated sole traders. If a motorist refuses to pay up they can merely recommend that the parking company takes court action.

Given the small sums at stake, fewer than 5% of cases make it that far. Indeed, in Scotland and Northern Ireland they cannot do so unless the parking firm can prove who was behind the wheel at the time. In England and Wales they can pursue the registered keeper of the vehicle as listed on DVLA records (see box).

For the past five years English and Welsh drivers whose appeal is rejected by a parking company have been able to take their case to one of two independent appeals services – POPLA operated by the British Parking Association (BPA), or the Independent Appeals Service (IAS) run by the International Parking Community (IPC) – provided the parking firm is a member. The codes of practice include unambiguous signs in the car park and a reasonable grace period for drivers who overstay.

However, critics question how independent these appeals services are given they are funded by member parking companies, and that while POPLA is outsourced to Ombudsman Services, the IPC’s scheme is run in-house. In April, the BPA suspended the Independent Scrutiny Board which the government had asked it to set up to ensure its appeals were fair, because its rival was not required to fund one.

Since the IPC, which does not allow motorists to respond to evidence against them, tends to uphold around 20% of driver complaints compared to the BPA’s 50%, parking companies began defecting to the former in the hopes of a favourable outcome. The IPC has failed to respond to a request for a comment.

The government, meanwhile, declines to say whether it plans to force the appeals services to appoint an independent auditor. “Ministers are carefully reviewing the case for reform of the private parking sector and further details will be released in due course,” the Department for Communities and Local Government tells The Observer.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland you can choose to ignore a parking notice. Private firms can only pursue the driver, not the registered owner of the car, so if you refuse to identify the driver there is not much they can do. Debt collectors, however officious sounding, have no enforcement powers.

In England and Wales the registered keeper can be held liable under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 if the driver is not identified.

For a convincing argument, check the codes of practice of the relevant trade association to see if the parking company breached any of the terms.

Websites for the British Motorists’ Protection Association and the Parking Cowboys contain detailed advice and assistance on what you should do in which country. Meanwhile, the consumer champion Which? offers drivers an appeals letter template.

#104 and 105

Offline Web Admin

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #125 on: 10 July, 2017, 02:47:17 PM »

I’m innocent, so how can I park this fine back with Aldi?

ParkingEye has fined me £70 when I wasn’t even there. But I can’t prove it

Rebecca Smithers
Monday 22 May 2017 07.00 BST

Please help me prove my innocence over two separate visits to a supermarket on the same day, as I have been fined for overstaying.

I drove to my local Aldi store twice – once before work and then at lunchtime – and stayed only briefly each time. I paid in cash as both trips were for a few bits – milk and crisps before work for the office staff and a lunchtime meal for myself. So I didn’t keep the receipts.

I subsequently received a fine for £40 from ParkingEye, which claimed that my car had remained in the car park for five hours. I refused to pay the fine as I did not accept that I had done anything wrong, and it has since risen to £70. I feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall.

By the time I got the fine the CCTV film at work had been recorded over, which would have shown my car entering and leaving while it was allegedly at the Aldi store.

I have appealed via the independent appeals service Popla, spoken to ParkingEye and Aldi’s parking team, and still no one wants to listen to reason. My family used to spend upwards of £100 a week at the store but haven’t been back since. SD, Stalybridge, Cheshire

Aldi’s car parks throughout the UK are managed by ParkingEye, though the retailer encourages shoppers who have been slapped with what they consider to be an unfair charge to complain directly (via Talkboards, meanwhile, are full of complaints.

Aldi has told us before that it does not receive revenue from parking notices, but that does not stop us from receiving a regular flurry of letters through this column. It insists that it doesn’t want genuine customers to be penalised.

Meanwhile, ParkingEye tells us that it “encourages people to appeal if they feel there are mitigating circumstances and they should not have received a parking charge”. It adds: “In this case, we requested, but did not receive, any written evidence and therefore rejected the appeal. The driver made a subsequent appeal to Popla, which agreed with ParkingEye’s decision. ParkingEye works closely with clients to agree appropriate processes.”

The lesson is to hang on to receipts, even when it’s just for a packet of crisps and a can of Coke, and always challenge an unfair fine at the earliest opportunity.

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #126 on: 11 July, 2017, 02:58:09 PM »
Mother-of-three wins epic court battle with a parking firm who fined her despite having a valid ticket because she entered the wrong registration

Blessing Burgess was fined in Stockport town centre though she had a ticket
Husband Daniel had entered the wrong car registration at the ticket machine
She was offered a reduced £10 fine but refused to pay as the company hadn't lost out on the fee for the session
The 31-year-old mother represented herself in court and won earlier this month

A mother-of-three has won her battle against a parking company in court after she proved she had bought a ticket but was still fined.

Blessing Burgess, from Stockport, received a fine after parking in the town centre with her family in January last year to eat at Nando's.

She appealed the fine with her ticket, but the company didn't back down as her husband Daniel had entered the registration for their other car.

Blessing Burgess took Excel to court and won when they fined her after her husband paid the parking charge for the wrong car in Stockport

Excel, the company managing the car park, offered to reduce the fee to £10, but Mrs Burgess refused to give up, believing the firm to be profiteering as they hadn't lost any money.

She told the Manchester Evening News: 'They kept sending us horrible letters and we got threatening messages from a debt collection agency too.

'It was hard not to be intimidated by the letters – I really felt like they were trying to scare me.

'We even did mediation, but they were talking as though if it came to court I would definitely lose, like I didn’t stand a chance.'

Mrs Burgess ended up representing herself at Stockport Magistrates Court, where she won her case.
The 31-year-old said: 'I am so pleased the judge could see the reality of what was taking place. In the end of the day, they picked on the wrong lady.'

Mrs Burgess had parked with her husband and family at the Peel Centre in Stockport, to enjoy a family meal at Nando's

Posting on her Facebook page when she first received the fine, Mrs Burgess explained: 'My husband went into auto-pilot and entered the registration number for the car he drives most days. We were unaware this had even taken place until a week or so later when we received a parking charge notice in the post, demanding £60.

'I was frantically worrying and searching for the ticket as I was sure that I had bought one as we always do wherever we park. I went out to the family car and thankfully found the ticket.

'After looking at the ticket and the letter I had received I realised what had happened. At that moment I felt relief that I had paid and that once I spoke to the company the charge would be dropped.'

Mrs Burgess said she realised what had happened when she found the ticket but had been sure the human error would be taken into account and the fine dropped

She explained she had sent the ticket as evidence to the company, and they had confirmed with CCTV stills that they had entered the car park at the corresponding times.

The ticket they purchased was even valid for a further 90 minutes after they left.

She said: 'All of this evidence I provided shows that despite human error we acted in good faith by buying a ticket and did not defraud the company or the break the law as we are law abiding citizens and recognise that they are running a business.'

A spokesman for Excel told the Manchester paper it was 'disappointed' and would be considering its options.

The spokesman added: 'Motorists are required to enter their full Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM) when purchasing a ticket. Ms Burgess entered a totally different VRM, thus breaching the clear terms and conditions.

'We are currently considering our position in relation to the judge’s decision and will refrain from any further comment at this stage while the matter is ongoing.'


Offline JSPark

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #127 on: 11 July, 2017, 09:57:10 PM »

I have recently got a Parking Charge Notice from parking in excess of 3 hours in my local ASDA. They use an ANPR system and I was sent the notice through the post. A friend of mine who used to work for the council advised that the land is owned by the council and that they have not given their express permission for ANPR to be used on their land and therefore under current legislation the enforcement of ANPR on council or publicly owned land is not legal.

Has anyone else also had this advice and is it worth appealing/rejecting the charge on this basis and contesting it with the company,Parking Eye ?



Offline DastardlyDick

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #128 on: 13 July, 2017, 09:37:37 AM »

I have recently got a Parking Charge Notice from parking in excess of 3 hours in my local ASDA. They use an ANPR system and I was sent the notice through the post. A friend of mine who used to work for the council advised that the land is owned by the council and that they have not given their express permission for ANPR to be used on their land and therefore under current legislation the enforcement of ANPR on council or publicly owned land is not legal.

Has anyone else also had this advice and is it worth appealing/rejecting the charge on this basis and contesting it with the company,Parking Eye ?



I believe that the Parking Company (in your case Parking Eye) have to have a Contract with the Landowner giving them permission to take people to Court in their name (as opposed to the Landowner's). They also have to have planning permission for the notices with the terms and conditions on them, because they are considered to be advertisments. Some people have been successful by asking for unredacted/unedited copies of the planning permission and the Contract which the Parking Companies are reluctant to supply.
May I suggest that you search online for "Parking Prankster"? He makes a speciality of dealing with Parking Eye "fines" and has been very successful against them.I
Parking Eye are one of the Company's that will take you to Court to get the money and costs so don't just ignore it or rely on your friends advice.
Did you actually overstay or did you "double dip" and make two visits on the same a few hours apart? Parking Eye have a reputation for conveniently ignoring the 1st Exit and 2nd Entry and claiming one visit lasting several hours.
Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: 13 July, 2017, 11:22:30 PM by DastardlyDick »

Offline HebburnLee

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Parking Eye - South Shields Hospital
« Reply #129 on: 14 July, 2017, 04:24:14 PM »
My wife has recently been issued with a fine by Parking Eye, who monitor South Shields Hospital's car parks; her offence was to be just over three minutes and 15 seconds late in leaving the premises, after attending an appointment with our four year old son, who was undergoing some medical tests. The evidence presented by Parking Eye shows the car entering the site and leaving the site, but does not take into consideration that my wife had to drive around the entire site twice before she found a vacant parking bay, nor does it take into account that the hospital has an A&E department so there are emergency vehicles coming and going, or that she was trying to leave the hospital at about 4.18pm, ie a busy time for both staff, patients and visitors leaving the hospital. Taking that into account, it is ludicrous that a motorist is expected to anticipate how long it will take them to leave the site (and not just the parking bay)!

Naturally, Parking Eye has rejected her appeal, so the next step is the Ombudsman.

Three minutes and 15 seconds - utterly ridiculous!

Offline Coco

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #130 on: 14 July, 2017, 06:05:21 PM »
Please see the two posts immediately preceding yours about Parking Eye. I suggest you have a trawl through Pranky's site - he has posted a wealth of information about Parking Eye and is probably the person best able to assist you.

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #131 on: 22 July, 2017, 11:15:55 AM »
Any ANPR system that allows you to input a VRM that it has not detected is not fit for purpose and would never get type approval from government, so why do government let them get away with it?  <bashy2> :bashy: <bashy2> :bashy: <bashy2> :bashy: <bashy2> :bashy:


Pensioner fined £140 for parking ticket mistake at Norwich Community Hospital

Brian Moore received a fine for inputting his number plate wrong into a car park machine.

Charity chiefs want action to curb Norwich parking enforcement firms after a pensioner was handed a £140 parking charge when he mistakenly typed a zero instead of the letter “O” when buying his ticket.

Brian Moore received a fine for inputting his number plate wrong into a car park machine.

Brian Moore, 72, made the slight error in entering his car registration at the ticket machine when he visited Norwich Community Hospital, in Bowthorpe Road, in March for diabetes treatment.

But seven weeks later he received a demand for £100 from car park operators Civil Enforcement Limited, later upped to £140.

Norfolk Citizens Advice has taken up his case - and said it was one of many similar complaints it had received.

Mr Moore, from Sprowston, said: “I actually found the ticket and I went to the police at first because I thought it might be a hoax.”

Norwich Community Hospital, Bowthorpe road. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

He then wrote to the company with a copy of the ticket, but he said Civil Enforcement refused to accept the matter as a genuine mistake, and instead increased its demand to £140.

Norfolk Citizens Advice has since helped Mr Moore to write a further letter to the company. Civil Enforcement said Mr Moore’s penalty was cancelled after his appeal and a letter of confirmation was sent, but Mr Moore said he had not received a letter.

“I was angry at the time because I knew I had paid,” he said. “But I was worried I would end up in court. I think they think old people are just going to panic and pay. It’s heavy-handed.”

Norfolk Citizens Advice said it planned to raise the “controversial methods” with Norwich South MP Clive Lewis when he visited the charity on Thursday.

Norwich Community Hospital, Bowthorpe road. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

It reported a steady stream of complaints from clients facing demands from private parking companies totalling hundreds of pounds, including another two at the hospital, where tickets were printed with registration numbers incomplete, despite being typed in correctly.

Acting chief executive David Potten said: “Many of the demands seem to us to be frankly unethical. Given the requests we have received for help and advice - and the number of complaints posted on the hospital’s own website - I really feel action is called for. And I question whether the hospital trust should be allowing these practices to be happening on its property.

“I hope Clive Lewis will be able to take up the matter on behalf of our clients.”

Mr Lewis said: “It’s Labour policy to end parking charges at hospitals and because we are committed to funding the NHS properly, there won’t be any negative implications for hospital services.”

Paul Larman, estate manager for Norwich Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCHC), which runs the hospital, said: “We are concerned to hear about the recent poor experience of some of our patients when dealing with Civil Enforcement Limited, the debt collecting arm of ParkSolve who manage our carpark, over disputed car parking fines.

“We will be taking up the issue with ParkSolve on Mr Moore’s behalf, and investigating other reported instances. We will be in touch with Norfolk Citizens’ Advice to advise them of the outcome of different complaints, but meanwhile we would like to reassure Mr Moore, specifically, that he need not pay the fine. Anyone who feels they have been issued with a ticket or a fine in error has the right to appeal it by contacting Civil Enforcement Limited. We hold regular meetings with ParkSolve, the contractor and we will always investigate complaints.”


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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #132 on: 29 July, 2017, 01:18:46 PM »
Car park row heads to court as Darlington motorist refuses to pay fine

A SPORTS Direct customer car park has attracted new criticism after a Darlington woman was fined and threatened with court action for a ticket machine mix-up.

The car park on East Street, Darlington, is managed by private parking firm Smart Parking and uses a ticket machine that motorists must use to enter and record their registration number.

The machine is paired with automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR) which detects entry and exit of all vehicles using the car park. The system is designed to stop the sharing of paid tickets amongst other car park users.

But, for Sarah Copland of Shearwater Avenue, the car park has left her with legal worries after the ticket machine wrongly detected her number plate and only included the last character of it, leaving a £45 penalty charge notice being issued to her five days later.

A frequent customer of the clothing store, she said she knows how the town centre car park works: “I used the car park on January 20 and use it quite often – I paid my money, entered my registration. Job done.”

However, it appears that Smart Parking believe that Ms Copland did not pay for the space and despite still having the original ticket to hand, her appeal to the firm was unsuccessful.

The case has since escalated further with a solicitor and a debt collection agency sending Ms Copland correspondence regarding the £45 charge.

Ms Copland has received threats that a County Court Judgment (CCJ) may be issued against her.

“I refuse to pay this fine," she said. "I have done nothing wrong.”

Enforcing Ms Copland’s fine are Zenith Collections, who are part of Debt Recovery Plus, a company that specialises in the recovery of missed fines by millions of motorists each year.

Earlier this week, it was reported that private parking firms had pursued more than 1.7m motorists over three months for fines at similar ‘managed’ car parks.

“I want to make other people aware of the pitfalls of using this car park,” Ms Copland said.

However, this is not the first time the East Street car park has caused controversy. In January, motorist Chris Wilson hit out at Smart Parking, when he discovered the firm were in the process of taking him to court over a fine which had been issued a year before.

He claims that when he entered the car park, a contractor was carrying out drainage work on the site, causing a “great deal” of congestion, leaving a delay between him finding a space and buying a ticket.

The following month, Hurworth Parish Councillor Paul Walters called on people in Darlington to fight back against “ruthless” parking charges – describing the appeals process at Smart Parking as a “complete injustice”.

The Northern Echo contacted Smart Parking for a comment last night but has yet to receive a response.


Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #133 on: 12 August, 2017, 08:06:01 AM »
Not proof as such, but this Parking Cowboys blog sums up all that is wrong with using ANPR cameras to enforce in car parks.


Parking Eye ignoring my vehicle tracker data!

From: Susan


I have received two parking fines from Parking Eye. Dated two days apart but for the same alleged offence. To cut a very long story short the vehicle I was driving had a tracker and there is proof beyond any doubt that the vehicle was not where Parking Eye alleged it was.It was parked up where I was staying.I have sent all relevant photocopied documents by recorded delivery to both Parking Eye addresses with no reply.

Can you tell me please who has committed the fraudulent part of this fine and how?.
I cannot work out exactly what they have done to make this fine look real. I do not intend to let this matter drop and want to have an explanation from Parking Eye but don’t really know how to do it.

Parking Eye’s ANPR system is well known to be flawed in that it sometimes doesn’t capture all entries and exits to car parks (e.g. if the view of your car’s registration was blocked by another vehicle as you passed the camera). If you visited the same car park multiple times, then Parking Eye’s system might think you’ve stayed from the first entry to the last exit, likely exceeding the maximum time limit. Parking Eye are well aware of this flaw in their system and claim to make checks to identify instances. However, we hear of such cases regularly, and are concerned they don’t do enough about it. Certainly there is a perceived conflict of interest in that they can financially benefit by not fixing the issue.

Anyway, if you have evidence that the vehicle was not there, then on the balance of probabilities, you did not breach the car park rules and therefore the parking charge has been issued incorrectly and should be cancelled.

Under the British Parking Association Code of Practice Parking Eye are required to offer an appeals process which it sounds like you have engaged with. If they turn down your appeal, then they are required to offer you an independent appeal (known as POPLA). At either appeal stage, if you provide your tracker evidence then your ticket should be cancelled. There is a chance that it will not (the POPLA assessors are not legally qualified), but do not give up!

If you continued to refuse to pay, then ParkingEye would need to take you to County Court to ask you to pay up. Again, if you present your tracker data to show you were not there, then the court should uphold your defence. I do not believe Parking Eye would attempt court with a solid defence as yours sounds.

The other thing I would do is to threaten a Data Protection claim against them. By continuing to process your data when they knowingly don’t have a case against you, then arguably they are breaching the DPA for which case law may allow you to be compensated. We have a guide here about this

I would also complain to the DVLA, your MP, and the BPA Things will only get done about this sort of behaviour if people make a fuss.

Best of luck, PC

PS. keep copies of all correspondence!

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #134 on: 15 September, 2017, 11:00:00 AM »
Systems cannot recognise and discount time spent as a result of having difficulty paying.

Systems allow drivers to enter a car number plate it did not record entering the car park.

Disabled pensioner's £100 fine for car park overstay

A DISABLED pensioner has become the latest person to receive a £100 fine at a Weymouth car park.

Peter Taylor, 72, from Wolverhamp-ton, received a fine after staying in the privately-owned Weymouth Old Town (West) car park 12 minutes longer than the two hours he had paid for.

The car park is managed by Parking Eye Management, which has since refunded the fine as a ‘gesture of goodwill’.

Mr Taylor had been visiting the town with his friend Margaret Page for a break.

He was driving her car on the day she was fined.

He said he was delayed when paying for the ticket.

Car park users have to enter their vehicle registration details in order to get a ticket. As the car did not belong to him, Mr Taylor had to go back to the car to find out its registration.

He claims he also had to wait for a woman to finish using one of the machines.

He said: “She must have paid it in all with 10 pence pieces.”

Mr Taylor said he was also forced to take a break before leaving the car park as he suffers from heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and walking difficulties.

Both became aware of the fine when Ms Page received a summons three days after their visit.

Mr Taylor said: “I was amazed when Margaret had that summons.

“I must have spent 10 minutes getting the ticket in the first place. It seems pretty harsh.

“If they are going to time you from the time to enter to the time you exit, they should make that clearer.

“By the time I got back to the car I was within the two hours. It doesn’t seem right at all.”

Mr Taylor’s fine was discounted to £60 after he paid it within 14 days.

However, despite paying, he sent a letter appealing the decision.

He has since been refunded.

A ParkingEye spokeswoman said: “Car park users enter into a contract to pay the appropriate amount for the duration of their visit or to not exceed free parking limits.

“A parking charge becomes payable if the terms and conditions are not adhered to.

“On this occasion it appears that as well as overstaying, an incorrect vehicle registration mark was entered, but as a gesture of goodwill the charge has been cancelled.”


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