Corby car park operators ‘should review fines process’

Parking charges have been introduced at the former co-op car park in Alexandra Road, Corby. NNL-160804-165952001
Parking charges have been introduced at the former co-op car park in Alexandra Road, Corby. NNL-160804-165952001

A Corby man was stunned to receive a parking ticket after entering a zero instead of an O in his registration plate.

Derek Rodger, 41, paid 50p to park in the old Co-op car park in Alexandra Road on December 16 last year.

Parking charges have been introduced at the former co-op car park in Alexandra Road, Corby. NNL-160804-165910001

Parking charges have been introduced at the former co-op car park in Alexandra Road, Corby. NNL-160804-165910001

Weeks later he received a charging notice in the post from operators Smart Parking, demanding £60 and saying he had contravened the terms and conditions.

Mr Rodger, of Great Oakley, said: “I was just amazed by it to be honest.

“They’ve said their machines could tell the difference but surely a human being can tell that’s a mistake?

“I’ve parked before where I’ve over-ran on time and that’s my problem, so I’ve paid it.

“But this is a genuine error. I couldn’t tell the difference between the O and the zero.”

Mr Rodger added that he has no intention of paying the fine.

He has been in contact with MP Tom Pursglove who says common sense should apply in this situation.

He said: “As someone who is dubious about car parking charges in town centres in any event, I have been concerned by a number of cases that have been brought to my attention recently relating to parking tickets issued, where slight typos have been made.

“I have of course taken up the individual cases directly with Smart Parking Ltd, including Mr Rodger’s, but I think it would be well worth them reviewing their processes.

“Common sense should apply and these sorts of errors should be easily resolved, with no threat of penalty.”

Smart Parking is yet to respond to the Northants Telegraph’s requests for a comment.

The car park has been at the centre of a long-running controversy between drivers and Smart Parking.

When the store shut in January 2016, many were parking there for free.

But by the end of March Smart Parking took over the running of it and started enforcing charges.

Many motorists told the Northants Telegraph there was no indication of charges and that they were shocked to receive a ticket.

Hundreds hoped that a legal loophole would write off their tickets.

An independent appeals officer ruled the firm did not give drivers enough notice of the charges before enforcing them.

But when we asked Smart Parking to write off any tickets from the first two weeks, the firm refused.

Other motorists who made typing errors, including Leon Gibbs, have had their tickets written off after the Northants Telegraph contacted Smart Parking.