An elderly couple have told how they were slapped with a £100 fine after stopping in a car park for just six minutes.
Martin Plummer and his wife Maureen have been charged after visiting the Dovecot Street car park near Stockton ARC and high street shops.
The couple exited the parking lot after just six minutes due to poor lighting and the parking meter could not be read properly.
Outraged, Martin spoke to Teesside Live about the hefty fine he was being fined so other motorists could be made aware of it.
But Martin and his wife aren’t the first – Terry, 87, and Anne Bonnett, 85, were fined £100 in the same car park in August after driving away because the meter wouldn’t take cash.
Mr Plummer, 70, recounted the events leading up to the parking fine he was slapped with.
He said: “On the evening of February 24, my wife and I parked in the Dovecot Street car park at around 8pm. This was the first time we used the car park so we were unaware of the cost and payment methods.
“We managed to pool some loose change but due to the bad weather it was quite difficult to read the instructions, it was clear I had to put my number plate in but the ‘P’ on the machine was completely worn out.
“I tried the other machine and it didn’t help – so after being very cold and very frustrated we got back in the car and drove away.”
According to the British Parking Association’s code of practice, the driver should be given a minimum grace period of five minutes to exit the car park if they do not decide to park there, with Martin driving out of the car park exactly six minutes after arriving.
Martin believes the £100 fine, reduced to £60 if paid immediately, is “grossly unfair”.
He approached parking company Parkingeye, which operates the Stockton car park, where his appeal against the fine was rejected after a two-week trial.
He added: “We contacted Parkingeye three times after our appeal and rather than bet on another appeal we decided to pay the £60 to keep it from escalating.
“I think it is inappropriate and grossly unfair to charge a parking fee of £60 for six minutes, given the circumstances.”
A Parkingeye spokesman said: “The Dovecot Street car park in Stockton on Tees is monitored by ANPR camera systems and has signage throughout giving clear instructions to motorists on how to use the car park responsibly. Drivers have the option of paying at the machine on site or by telephone.
“The driver parked in the parking lot without paying on February 24 and received a parking fee notice for this. However, after reviewing the case, we canceled the PCN as a goodwill gesture.
“Parkingeye operates a BPA (British Parking Association) audited appeals process that allows drivers to appeal their parking charge notices.
“If anyone has extenuating circumstances, we would encourage them to highlight this by reaching out to Parkingeye.”
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8590812/couple-fined-stopping-car-park-six-minutes/ We were fined £100 for stopping in a car park for SIX MINUTES struggling with the pay machine before leaving