Author Topic: Family hit with £60 fine for spending 13 minutes looking for a parking space  (Read 448 times)

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Offline The Bald Eagle

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Pictures taken on entry and exit ARE NOT PROOF OF PARKING!


'Disgusted': Family hit with £60 fine for spending 13 minutes looking for a car park space

A FAMILY has been left ‘disgusted' after receiving a £60 fine simply for driving around a car park looking for a free space for 13 minutes - despite never even parking there.

15:02, Sun, Dec 5, 2021 | UPDATED: 16:10, Sun, Dec 5, 2021

The family were issued the fine after stopping for 12 minutes

The Sutcliffes took a family break to Cornwall back in August this year and headed to the busy town of Newquay. After visiting three or four full car parks they tried one more for just over ten minutes, hoping another driver might leave so they could take their spot.

Again unsuccessful, they left the car park before eventually finding a space nearby.

But weeks after the holiday to their shock they received a letter demanding £60 from Smart Parking, the operator of the car park they had driven around without parking.

And despite the pleas of the family, Smart Parking are refusing to refund the amount, saying that they are following the rules.

Julie Sutcliffe, 51, spoke of her shock at the fine, saying: “When we got back from our holidays I opened a letter saying we had a £60 fine for parking for 13 minutes without paying.

The family paid the fee to avoid a drawn out process

“This was the time we had spent driving round.

"I appealed, saying at no point had we stopped, never mind turned our engine off.

“(But) our appeal was refused. To say I’m disgusted is a huge understatement."

Smart Parking explained their position, saying: “Smart Parking are proud members of the British Parking Association and strictly follow its guidelines.

"At Newquay car park we utilise a state-of-the-art ANPR parking management system to ensure genuine customers can always find a place to park.”

The Sutcliffes paid the fine in order to avoid a long drawn out process if they were to try to fight the notice.

"I thought I'd pay it as I didn't want the worry of taking it further," Sutcliffe said. "They are a big company and we are a family."

However Smart Parking refused to budge and would not refund the money on appeal.

"It is important to remember that the car park is private land.

"So when deciding to park motorists should always check the terms and conditions of use which are clearly outlined in numerous signs across the site,” said a company spokesman.

"In the case of [Sutcliffe] she stayed in the car park for over 12 minutes without paying, so correctly received a charge, which she has now paid.”

Drivers should check the 'terms and conditions' to avoid being hit with fees

Cornwall has seen a huge rise in the number of visitors heading to the county recently, with drivers in their thousands descending on popular towns like Newquay and Truro as the British ‘staycation’ becomes more fashionable.

But earlier this year a number of Cornwall council’s parking machines were found to be out of order because the company employed to run them were short-staffed.

Councillors had to step in after G4S were unable to send cash collection contractors to empty ticket machines throughout the area. have contacted Smart Parking for further comment.


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