This is to bring to your notice a very unpleasant experience I had at change gate car park situated opposite the Edinburgh woolen mills store in Howarth, West yorkshire on 21 July 2015.
I am a visitor from Canada on trip to the Yorkshire Dales with my wife.
We entered the above mentioned car park to shop at the store across the street on 21 July 2015. I had to make a phone call so my wife went ahead and I stayed back in the car to make my phone call. I finished my call in 4 minutes and came out to buy a ticket from the pay machine. A man in a high visibility jacket was standing next to the car and told me that he is giving me a parking charge of 100 pounds as I did not have a pay and display ticket!I was shocked to hear that and explained the situation to him.He was not ready to listen and continued writing on his pad and taking a photo of my car!
He handed me the notice and said that if I paid the charge straight away to him it would be reduced from the 100 pounds to 60 pounds. I explained to him that this is unfair and outrageous but he kept on saying that I should pay the 60 pounds and then write to yourself for a refund. Otherwise the car rental company (my car is a rental) will get the notice and I will have to pay the entire amount.I proceeded to buy a parking ticket from the machine and joined my wife in the store.Me and my wife were very upset by these events and decided to pay upfront as we were quite shaken by this episode.
In fact our nice vacation time in England has been left with an unpleasant memory.I think this is unfair and I would have not written to you if there was any legitimate ground for issuing me a charge.
I am afraid this kind of practice will leave a bad taste for England internationally especially tourists.I have scanned all the paperwork and attached it to this mail.I would appreciate if you can refund my money to the address below:
The situation is that this car park is unregulated and the operator is not a member of an Associated Trade Association (ATA) such as the British Parking Association. There is therefore no genuine appeals process, and the motorist could not for instance, appeal to POPLA on the ground that a grace period is required before issuing tickets.
More importantly, as the operator is not a member of an ATA, their only chance of getting payment is on the day. The operator cannot contact the DVLA and get the address of the vehicle keeper (the hire company) and there is therefore no keeper liability. Only the driver could be pursued, so the only opportunity, since their address in Canada was not known, would be to take money on the day.
Sadly, the operator knows that this car park is visited by many tourists who would have no knowledge of the legal situation and could be scammed into paying money on the day by the old 'pay now and get a discount' trick.
They would also not be aware that a grace period of 5-10 minutes is generally acceptable as the time allowed to purchase a ticket, and so a period of 4 minutes would be acceptable.
The Parking Prankster