Corby car park users wrongly given tickets - by firm who had site contract terminated

They appear to still be monitoring the site, despite no longer having the contract

By Sam Wildman
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 6:30 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 5:06 pm

Motorists who paid to use a Corby car park have wrongly been hit with tickets - by a firm who no longer have the contract to enforce contraventions.

Smart Parking had run the former Co-op car park in Alexandra Road for a number of years, but the site is now managed by Euro Car Parks.

Emails from a firm representing the landowners, seen by the Northants Telegraph, show Smart Parking's contract has been terminated and that they are not allowed the monitor the car park.

The former Co-op car park in Alexandra Road.

But their cameras remained up - and they have wrongly sent out penalty charge notices to innocent motorists who had paid to park there.

Smart Parking has since said they will be cancelling the charges.

One car park user who received a £100 bill in the post was Oliver Bayliss, who lives on the town's Priors Hall estate.

The 48-year-old pulled into the old Co-op car park on December 18 and followed the instructions on the displayed Euro Car Parks signs, downloading an app and paying for his parking.

The car park is now run by Euro Car Parks.

But just after Christmas he received a letter from Smart Parking telling him to cough up because he hadn't paid, with images showing him entering and exiting the car park, leaving him stunned.

No Smart Parking signs remain at the car park and, having received a penalty charge notice from them, he assumed they and Euro Car Parks were associated companies.

He said: "I just thought it was crazy. I wrote back with a copy of my receipt showing I had paid thinking it would be the end of it.

"They wrote back saying you must have parked somewhere else."

Oliver then contacted the landowners and found out Smart Parking had in fact had their contract for the site terminated.

He contested the fine with POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals) and Smart Parking said they would not contest it.

But he is furious that they accused him in the first place and hit out at their 'bogus' operation.

He said: "What I don't understand is how can they still send out tickets if they don't have jurisdiction on the site?

"I'm very angry. I'm relatively young but if it was somebody who is elderly they would probably just pay it because they were scared."

Another car park user to wrongly receive a ticket was 49-year-old Ian Wilcoxson, from Brigstock.

He parked in the Alexandra Road car park on December 19 to go to the nearby cinema, downloaded the app and paid.

But he later received a letter from Smart Parking saying he hadn't paid to park.

He said: "I thought I that must have made a mistake. I was a bit surprised really."

When he checked the parking app it was clear he had not made a mistake and so he replied with a copy of his invoice receipt.

But he too was told he had paid for a different car park - despite inputting the code on signs yards from his vehicle.

When he challenged it with POPLA Smart Parking backed down and said they would not contest the appeal.

Ian said: "My letter said it's not the Co-op car park but the sign with the code to park is screwed onto the wall of the Co-op.

"It cost me something like £1.60 to park and they send you a bill of £100. How out of balance is that?

"It would be very easy to just say it's too much hassle and pay it and I'm sure many people have. I just feel like it needs taping off."

Smart Parking's previous management of the site has been controversial ever since they changed the rules in 2016, with hundreds initially caught out and penalised having been used to parking there for free.

One motorist harshly received a ticket for entering a zero instead of an O on their registration place, with another even given one for driving through the car park without stopping.

Euro Car Parks, who now manage the site, have also been contacted for comment.