Growing numbers of drivers who use Borehamwood Shopping Park have received fines that they say are unfair.
The company that runs the car park is investigating the complaints, but a spokesman said it will not examine its equipment. Last week Erica Marks spoke out about her fine, claiming the carpark surveillance system was faulty.
Since then, Borehamwood residents Valerie Edwards, of Almond Way, Linda Rendall, of Buckingham Road, Lara Ledeboer, of Shenley Road, and Robbie Brown, of Thirsk Road, have revealed similar complaints. They have all have been fined in the past two months for parking more than the allowed time of three hours at Borehamwood Shopping Park, off Theobald Street.
But all claim they were there for only a few minutes before leaving the car park and returning later. They believe the centre’s CCTV cameras noted their cars had been parked there twice in the same day and the IT system made the false assumption they had not moved.
Blue badge holder Ms Edwards, 46, who can walk only 100 metres at a time due to a leg injury, was fined £110 for parking in a disabled bay on January 5. She says she stopped there for only a few minutes at 10.15am and 3.15pm, leaving in between to meet her friend for lunch in Welwyn Garden City.
She said: “I’ve spent ages trying to sort all of this out. It has been a massive hassle. I feel like I’m being bullied.
“I have to park around the corner now because I’m scared of getting a ticket, which makes life very difficult because of my disability. I’m absolutely incensed by it.”
People who stay in the car park longer than three hours are fined £50, which rises to £110 if not paid within 14 days.
Ms Rendall was given a ticket on December 29, but had it cancelled after her second complaint letter, which she copied to the shopping park manager. She says she was in the carpark for less than an hour, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
A spokesman for ParkingEye, which runs the carpark, refused to explain why Ms Rendall’s ticket had been cancelled, but said all complaints would be investigated.
As a member of the British Parking Association and the Approved Operator Scheme, a voluntary scheme enforcing good practice among private carpark operators, he said the company placed a “great emphasis on having a fair and thorough appeals process”.
However the spokesman said the machine itself would not be examined, and he described the technology as “state-of-the-art”.
Debenhams Ottaway solicitor Luke Harrison, who specialises in parking issues, said complainants should take the company to court if the fines were not valid.
He said: “The burden of proof is on the parking company to show that these people were on their premises over and above the allowed period.
“Unless they can show this, beyond the balance of probabilities, they will lose the case.”