Smart Parking '˜won't write off' Corby parking tickets
A parking firm has refused to write off tickets issued after it changed the rules at a Corby car park - despite an independent appeals officer ruling that they did not give people enough notice.
Smart Parking took over the former Co-op car park in Alexandra Road, Corby, some time at the end of March.
It installed ANPR cameras and new signs which were similar to the old signs.
It also scrapped the free 30 minutes and enforced charges for disabled drivers.
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But hundreds of local motorists were caught out and given parking charges.
Many of those appealed, and now the independent body POPLA, which looks at appeals by people given tickets by private parking firms, has said to one of those caught that Smart Parking should have given a grace period for local people to get used to the new rules.
After we heard this, the Northants Telegraph asked Smart Parking to write-off tickets issued in the first two weeks after the new charges came in. But Smart Parking have refused.
A Smart Parking spokesman said: “Smart Parking is a member of the BPA, and operates a fully audited appeals process. For any motorists who have their appeals rejected by us, we highlight to them that they can contact the independent industry Ombudsman POPLA. Any final decision taken by POPLA we will abide by.”
Motorist David Kenna from Corby had his ticket overturned on appeal to POPLA. He had parked for an hour and 51 minutes on April 9 but had not noticed that there were charges in operation so did not pay.
His letter said: “The British Parking Association Code of Practice states that where there is any change in the terms and conditions that materially affects the motorist then you should make these clear on your signage.
“Where such changes impose a liability where none previously existed then you should consider a grace period to allow regular visitors to the site to adjust and familiarise themselves with the changes.
“From the evidence supplied I am not satisfied that the operator allowed a grace period.
“As such, I cannot conclude that the PCN was issued correctly.”
David said: “I guess this has implications on anyone who received a PCN in the first couple of weeks since the new system was adopted.”