Author Topic: Carlisle - Judge throws parking firm’s case against drivers out of court  (Read 502 times)

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Offline The Bald Eagle

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Judge throws parking firm’s case against drivers out of court

by CWH  14 December 2021

People have been caught out parking near to McDonald’s

A parking firm which issued fines to large numbers of drivers near the town’s McDonalds site has had two cases thrown out of court.

IPark Services sparked outrage in February last year when it began enforcing no parking regulations on an area by the NFU Mutual office and the former Co-operative Funeral building next to McDonalds fast-food outlet in Ullswater Road.

Hundreds of motorists were caught out and landed with hefty fines after pulling up in the spaces next to the NFU offices, next to McDonalds’ entrance road.

Many were furious over what they claimed was a lack of signs warning them not to park.

IPark Services, which is headed by director Bill Ideson, took two of the motorists to court, but the cases were dismissed by the presiding judge.

The company had sought to prosecute Helen Ingham, of Skirwith, and Sophie Digins, of High Hesket.

Helen told the Herald her parking fine nightmare began in February, 2020, when she pulled up for around 15 seconds to wait for her food from McDonalds as no waiting spaces were available.

“It was pitch black, there were no signs or markings on the ground like there are now, and we had used it lots of times before,” Helen explained.

However, 17 days later she received in the post a parking notice demanding she pay a £60 fine — going up to £100 if not paid within 14 days.

Helen went on to appeal the charge twice with IPark Services but was rejected the first time and, she says, entirely ignored the second. She was contacted by a legal firm on behalf of IPark and threatened with court action.

Helen set up a Facebook group to help other people who had been hit with the fines in a bid to share information and support each other.

With so many drivers in the town affected, the group quickly gained hundreds of members and even now counts nearly 750 followers.

Following a call with a county court judge in an attempt to mediate the dispute, the case was listed to be heard on Friday alongside Sophie’s — due to both women having the same defence.

The pair argued that IPark had not provided photos showing them stop their vehicles in the no parking area with signs in view on the same photograph. However, the parking firm continued to pursue the claim against the women.

At Carlisle County Court, 18 months after their ordeal began, the two women said the cases were thrown out by the judge in a matter of minutes.

Deputy District Judge Thexton ruled that IPark had “failed to provide any authority to the effect that it is confirmed … to maintain the land and/or bring and enforce parking charges”.

The company was ordered to pay Helen £50 expenses and, she said, warned against bringing similar cases before the judge.

“It was all really stressful, I was even threatened with a county court judgement against me, I’m just relieved it’s over,” Helen said.

“I’ve had people offer to pay my fine just so it was over, it’s been horrendous for everyone.”


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