Author Topic: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work  (Read 186788 times)

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #165 on: 17 October, 2018, 12:40:54 PM »

PARKING MAD Driver baffled after receiving £100 parking fine when his broken down car was on the back of a TOW TRUCK at service station

He only pulled into service station because his car had overheated and it wouldn't start again

A DRIVER'S day went from bad to worse when he was given a £100 parking fine -- while his car was on the back of a TOW TRUCK.

James Cook, 22, was on his way to a romantic break in Scotland with his girlfriend when his car overheated.

Ridiculous ... James Cook's parking fine correspondence

Driver ... James was on his way to Scotland for a romantic getaway with his girlfriend

His journey ended at Knutsford Service Station in Cheshire -- half way from his home in Leamington Spa to the Scottish border -- when steam started billowing from his car's bonnet.

He called the RAC who tried to fix the motor but had to tow it away three hours later.

Not only was his holiday ruined, but days later James received a letter from a car park operator saying he was being fined £100.

CP Plus Ltd said he had overstayed the two hour parking limit -- despite the fact his car had clearly broken down.

The company demanded he pay the fine, which could be reduced to £60 if he paid within two weeks.

Mr Cook, who works as a photo processor, said: “I just burst out laughing.

“The first thing I saw was the pictures. I thought ‘someone is having a laugh here’.

“I couldn’t believe it. I appealed it straight away.

Apology ... Parking company saw its error after James fought back

“They asked me to send them the evidence, so I just wrote to them and said ‘you have sent me the evidence you jokers’.

“Two days later they wrote back to say they were cancelling the fine.”

He added: “It doesn’t look like an automatic thing to me. It looks like someone has put those pictures in the boxes and it’s been through a person.”

An email from CP Plus to Mr Cook sent on Monday confirmed the fine had been cancelled.

It read: “In light of your claims, the representations stated in your appeal have been noted and upheld.

“We apologise sincerely for any inconvenience and can confirm that this notice has been cancelled in full and no further action will take place on this occasion.”

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #166 on: 17 October, 2018, 01:03:14 PM »

Grandfather fined £100 for spending too long in McDonalds car park - after visiting twice in one day

Robert Newton was shocked after he was hit with the fee after he had his lunch at the fast food venue and then went back later to buy his grandchildren a happy meal

Robert Newton drove off but came back 10 minutes later with his grandchildren

A granddad claims he was handed a £100 fine for spending too long in a McDonald's car park after he went twice on the same day.

Robert Newton popped into the fast-food chain's restaurant on his way to pick up his grandchildren.

Feeling peckish, the 59-year-old had a deli chicken wrap and eat it in the car park , before driving off 10 minutes later.

After picking up his granddaughter and grandson in nearby Gillingham, Kent, he then went back to the restaurant to buy them a Happy Meal.

Once he had ordered, Robert again parked in the restaurant car park in Sittingbourne, Kent, so his grandchildren could eat their meals and left shortly afterwards.

But he was shocked to receive a letter from company which operates the car park claiming he owes them £100 for spending more than two hours on the land.

The 59-year-old was shocked to receive a letter from the car parking management company in the post

Robert said: "I drove though the drive-thru and parked up in the car park to eat it and then drove off and out of the car park about 10 minutes later.

"I then drove to Sheerness to pick up my grandson Connor and granddaughter Ellie as they were staying with my wife Deborah and I for a week during the summer holidays.

"I decided I would pop back into the McDonald's on the way back to Gillingham to get them both a Happy Meal.

"A week later I got a letter from the firm which operates McDonald's car parks which stated I had overstayed my allowed time in there.

"The letter said I'd been parked up there for 123 minutes - that's more than two hours.

"It is stupid their cameras can clock me going in for my meal but not going out again but can then clock me going out later with the grandchildren.

"The system does not work properly and getting a letter telling me I owe £100 is not a laughing matter.

"I don't understand how the camera didn't see that I had exited the car park and then drove back in later."

The letter allegedly said he had been parked for 123 minutes

Robert, who suffers from arthritis, said he intended to appeal.

A McDonald's spokesperson added: "At a number of our restaurants, parking restrictions are in place to ensure there is adequate parking for all customers.

"Where restrictions are in place, we work with industry-approved contractors to ensure any restrictions are clearly signposted and communicated.

"McDonald's does not profit from any penalty charges and if a customer feels they have been wrongly ticketed we would encourage them to get in touch with the third party contractor who issued the ticket."

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #167 on: 17 October, 2018, 01:20:39 PM »

Mum ‘told it’s against the law to visit retail park twice in a day’

She parked at this retail centre (Picture: Google)

A woman says she was told it’s against the law to shop at a retail park twice in one day. Keri Ewins, 42, said she visited the out-of-town shopping area in the morning, parking her car to pick up some things at Home Bargains on the morning of November 10.

She drove off, then got on with the rest of her day including going to a doctor’s appointment and the school run. Later in the afternoon, she returned to the retail park to go to Halfords at Christchurch Retail Park near Bournemouth. Just a normal day, right?

Why are we telling you this? Well, apparently going back to the retail park was against the law. Obviously, it isn’t actually – but Keri, a healthcare assistant from Lymington, says that is what she was told when she received an £85 fine in the post.

The private company which runs the car park said she had been parked there for six hours and forty minutes, even though she had actually driven off and come back during that time.

Highview Parking said they weren’t able to rewind the CCTV to find out if she had left the area and returned, according to Keri. ‘When I phoned them, they were so rude, saying I had to pay the £85,’ Keri told the Bournemouth Echo.

‘They also said that once you have been to the car park, you couldn’t return within four hours. ‘I mean what if I was an elderly person and forgot to get dog food or something and then had to go back? They said that was breaking the law. It’s just ridiculous. ‘I’ve been back to the park and taken a picture of the signs. All they say is that you can’t park for longer than three hours and return within one.’

Keri added: ‘It also doesn’t allow for if you are dropping someone off or picking them up. ‘I can prove I wasn’t there for six hours because of the appointments I had.

‘£85 is a lot of money; I’m just not paying it. If they want to take me to court they can. ‘I’m really worried vulnerable people have had the same happen to them and hope this might warn people.’ has contacted Highview Parking for comment.

Commenting on the original article, others said they had experienced similar problems at the same retail park. Carol Faulker wrote: ‘My elderly disabled parents received a fine here because they had parked for over three hours. They had parked outside Costa in a disabled space and gone for a coffee, then moved the car to outside Petsathome into a disabled space to do some shopping.

‘After this they then decided to eat at Pizza Hut, so moved the car there. So yes they were there for more than three hours because they were using all the retailers!

‘I wrote on their behalf and the fine was canceled but it should never have been given. They are elderly and it worried them terribly.’

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #168 on: 29 November, 2018, 12:46:35 PM »
#135, 136 and 137

From Hansard


Sir Greg Knight
#135 The hon. Member for Warrington South (Faisal Rashid) mentioned one of many cases in which usually pensioners, although not always—some of the cases that have come to my attention have involved pensioners—type one digit of their registration number into the machine incorrectly and the machine does not allow for any correction of the details already entered. The fee is nevertheless paid, but a ticket is issued. So, for many people, parking on private land can be a traumatic and expensive business.

#136 One of the reasons why we need a mandatory code now is that technology is being used to provide evidence. The growing misuse of automatic number plate recognition cameras is a particular worry to me. Cameras ostensibly enable private parking companies to keep a record of exactly how long a motorist has remained in a car park and provide photographic evidence if they exceed the time they have paid for. They say that the camera never lies, but things are not always as they seem.

In one car park at a fast food restaurant in Nottinghamshire that is policed by CCTV, drivers are told they must not enter the car park when the restaurant is closed. However, the signage telling them that is ​located inside the carpark itself, along with the details of the opening times of the restaurant, making it impossible for a motorist to know before they enter the car park whether they will receive a private parking notice.

#137 At another private car park at a fast food outlet in Enfield, a driver was recently issued with a parking charge notice for overstaying. In this case, the motorist visited the restaurant twice in one day. The ANPR cameras recorded her leaving the car park on the first visit and returning for the second. By using the photos the wrong way around, the car park operators tried to charge her a penalty for a period when she was not even in the car park.

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #169 on: 04 February, 2019, 10:01:50 AM »

Drivers 'fined in error' at Crowborough station car park

Motorists say they have been given tickets for parking in a car park they haven't actually left their cars in.

Since the introduction of new cameras which read number plates, many people doing drop-offs and pick-ups at Crowborough claim they have wrongly received £100 penalty notices.

Thameslink Govia said this was due to dirty number plates or cars driving too close together, and anyone who believes they have been wrongly fined can appeal.

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Offline Ewan Hoosami

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #170 on: 06 February, 2019, 03:59:00 AM »
Hmmmm.......... as well as using a monumentally useless ANPR system, Indigo are also ignoring the monumentally useless BPA Ltd's monumentally useless Code of Practice.

14 Misrepresentation of authority

14.2 You must not use terms which imply that parking is being managed, controlled and enforced under statutory authority.This includes using terms such as ‘fine’,‘penalty’ or ‘penalty charge notice’.

I suspect that the BPA Ltd's top investigator is ready to spring into action as we speak

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 #171 on: 18 February, 2019, 10:41:05 AM »

Any system that allows a driver to register a number plate that has not been picked up by the ANPR cameras is not fit for purpose.

What is even more scary is that if you went to the magistrates court and lost, you would earn a criminal record.


St Albans driver forced to pay “unfair” parking fine after number plate mix-up

A frustrated driver has spoken out about automated parking systems issuing “unfair” tickets at St Albans City Station.

A copy of Sally Cartwright's PCN. Picture: Sally Cartwright

Sally Cartwright and her husband were going into London one evening, parking in St Albans City Station Car Park on Station Way and paying for the right date and time period with her card.

A couple of weeks later, she was shocked to receive an £100 parking fine in the post - reduced to £60 if paid in 14 days.

It read: “The Byelaws were made under section 219 of the Transport Act 2000 as amended under the Railways Act 2005, and an offence has been committed by breaching Byelaw 14.

“Having identified that an offence has occurred, your data has been released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency as our client has reasonable cause (under Regulation 27(1)(e) of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002).”

Calling the appeals number listed, she was told her registration plate was inputted incorrectly and, despite having proof of payment on her bank statement, the fine still stands.

She said: “I would never dream of not paying for a parking ticket and I did buy a ticket - maybe there was something wrong with the number plate but it doesn’t mean I didn’t pay. It was quite an aggressive letter and they were so unhelpful saying ‘If you appeal it, the fine will be more, you will have to pay £100 and there will be no way back’.”

Seeing as Sally’s car number plate is similar to her husband’s, she believes it was a simple mix-up.

Worried by the legal threats in the letter however, Sally reluctantly paid the fine - plus a handling fee. She said: “I was really upset and stressed at the audacity of it, that they can get away with it.”

Sally was shocked to discover a number of people recounting the same ordeal on a Facebook group called All About St Albans.

“A lot of people haven’t paid it but I was too nervous to do that and I think that is what happens. A lot of people are so frightened by it they pay, and so they are going to keep getting away with it. I will never park in that car park again. I will walk in the rain if I have to.”

A GTR spokesman said: “Our parking contractor advises customers who believe they have been issued with a penalty notice wrongly to make a formal appeal in order to avoid the penalty being increased.

“If the customer can show through the appeal process that they did pay the correct parking charge, the notice will be withdrawn.”

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #172 on: 12 March, 2019, 01:05:56 PM »

York Costa drive-through customers fined - by cameras at car park next door

COFFEE lovers using a Costa drive-through in York are being hit with parking penalties - from the camera system at the car park next door.

A CCTV security system at the car park next to the Costa branch in Layerthorpe - which is used by customers at the neighbouring Travelodge - is believed to be snapping people using the coffee drive-through in error.

Helen Appleby, 53, says she received a £100 penalty after the cameras mistakenly captured her entering the drive-through on Christmas Eve and leaving the drive-through on New Year’s Eve, despite visiting the cafe several times in between.

The camera is run by parking management company APCOA, which says that where a “technical problem” occurs, it will cancel a parking charge notice. Travelodge doesn’t own or run the car park, although its guests park there.

Mrs Appleby, from Market Weighton, travels into York to work at York Hospital every day.

She said: “I go to Costa most mornings to get a coffee on the way to work.

“I got the penalty letter through the post saying that I had been staying at the Travelodge hotel for a week without paying.

“The camera is capturing drivers as they enter the drive-through as though they are hotel customers using the car park but not when they leave the Costa car park. So, when I next go back through and drive out it thinks I have been there all the time.

“I understand this is a mistake but if you are not from the area you may just take the penalty and pay it.

“I have got 28 days to pay the fee which means ringing the company to try to get a rebate.

“People who are working fulltime do not have time to seek refunds from the company. It has put me off going back to the Costa at Layerthorpe.”

Billy Morfitt, 22, from York, a CCTV and security installer for FRS York, said he received a letter last week for a penalty of £60 for allegedly leaving his car at the car park between December 17 and 18.

He said: “I went to Costa drive-through on December 17 and 18, after I dropped my girlfriend at work. However, on the letter I received from APCOA last week, they said that I arrived on the 17th and left on the 18th. But, the photo they sent is of a different car leaving the car park on December 18.

“Consequently, I have received a £60 penalty that will rise to £100 if I don’t pay it. The camera is for the Travelodge hotel, not Costa, but due to this fiasco we don’t even go to Costa anymore on a morning because it isn’t worth the hassle.”

A spokesman for Costa said: “We understand how frustrating this must be for our customers. The car park is operated by a private parking company and unfortunately we have no control over any action they have taken. We have been in touch to make them aware of the issue and we’re hoping for a swift resolution.”

In a statement, Travelodge said it did not own or run the car park.

An APCOA spokesperson said: “APCOA operate a fair and proportionate appeals process for parking charge notices in accordance with our membership of the British Parking Association. Where a technical problem occurs, APCOA will cancel a parking charge notice.

“We do not comment on ongoing cases, but will take the necessary steps to ensure a proportionate approach is taken.”

Offline Overlord

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #173 on: 12 March, 2019, 06:59:46 PM »
They've done this on purpose hoping that some people will just pay up to avoid the hassel! All these parking companies are scum.

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #174 on: 02 June, 2019, 11:00:42 AM »


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.”

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #175 on: 02 June, 2019, 11:19:22 AM »
#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".

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #176 on: 02 June, 2019, 11:29:57 AM »

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.


Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #177 on: 02 June, 2019, 11:34:58 AM »

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.

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #178 on: 02 June, 2019, 11:44:36 AM »

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

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Proof that ANPR cameras in car parks don't work
« Reply #179 on: 10 July, 2019, 09:47:58 AM »

As usual, the camera alone cannot tell whether a vehicle is parked in contravention of terms and conditions.


Shell fined me for being in its forecourt waiting for a car wash

I paid for the car wash and then had to queue for my turn. Absurdly I received a £60 fine for overstaying

Using a car wash came with a hefty fine from Shell.

I drove into a Shell garage in Kilburn (north-west London) to use the automatic car wash. I paid £5, and there were five or six cars in front and two behind me. It took ages – probably about an hour.

I have since received a £60 fine (rising to £100 if not paid within a set time) from Euro Car Parks saying I overstayed its maximum 20-minute waiting time. It rejected my appeal stating that the signs say clearly there is a maximum wait time. This is frankly absurd. Shell is selling this car wash and yet not using discretion about the fact that a line of cars will easily lead to overstaying this 20-minute period.

I don’t intend to pay the fine and have appealed, but surely Shell has to account for people waiting to use a service it has sold. SR, London

We got in touch with Shell which claimed it had not received a direct complaint from you. It said the format does not involve a strict queueing system but is a forecourt “where customers tend to park their cars and go into nearby shops. This is why there is a notice at the site that informs site visitors and car wash users to input their details into a car wash console, so that the waiting time registers as waiting for the car wash service. Unfortunately, there is no record on our side of [SR’s] details being input into the console, which is why the fine notice was sent.”

You appealed to Euro Car Parks, which refused to overturn the decision, but then you went further to Popla (the independent appeals service for parking charge notices issued on private land) and recently learned that your appeal was successful. Euro Car Parks did not respond to our request for an explanation. Your case seems to raise interesting questions. We’d be interested to hear if other readers have had similar problems.

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. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to terms and conditions


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