A woman from Borehamwood has warned shoppers the parking surveillance system at a retail park could be faulty, saying she was landed with two undeserved fines.
Mother-of-four Erica Marks, of Beech Drive, Borehamwood, has been ticketed twice in the past two months for parking for more than the allowed time of three hours at Boreham-wood Shopping Park, off Theobald Street.
But she says on both occasions she was there for around 30 minutes, leaving for several hours before returning to pick up some more groceries — and says has witnesses to prove it.
During the hours Mrs Marks is accused of parking at the shopping park, she says she had in fact driven home and to a Pilates class between her two visits to the shops.
She said: “I’ve got eight witnesses from my Pilates class who know me and know my car, and are willing to sign an affidavit saying I was at the class when I was apparently in the car park.
“It’s ridiculous that I have to do it. I really don’t need the added stress.”
People who stay in the car park longer than three hours are fined £50, which rises to £100 if not paid within a given time limit.
Mrs Marks believes the centre’s CCTV cameras noted her car had been parked there twice in the same day and the IT system made the false assumption it had not moved.
She has written to ParkingEye, the company that runs parking on the site, but says her pleas have been ignored.
She said: “I wonder how many other people have been affected by this.
“I think their computer software must be faulty.
I’ve tried to tell them to check the cameras because they’d see my car wasn’t there the whole day, but they’ve refused.
“I’ve told them to take me to court to fight it and I’m willing to do that, but it is very stressful.”
Peter Roberts, of ParkingEye, said the company had written to her to say the matter was being investigated. “We received a letter of appeal from Mrs Marks following a parking charge she had received and, as part of our thorough appeals process, we are investigating.
“We are disappointed that she felt the need to circumvent the appeals process and approach the media before completion of the investigation.”
But Jackie Gilbert, who teaches Mrs Marks Pilates at Allum Hall, in Elstree, said: “She always comes to my class between 9.30am and 10.30am in the same blue car and she was at my class on those days.”