DRIVERS are calling for a parking company to leave a shopping park in Borehamwood after issuing “unfair“ fines.
Terry Williams, 67, from Borehamwood, could be fined a maximum charge of £110 for parking at Borehamwood Shopping Park, in Theobald Street, on October 1.
If he had paid by Tuesday the fine would have been £50.
ParkingEye, who runs the car park surveillance system, claims he was there from 1.48pm to 8.16pm. Drivers are allowed to park for three hours then have to leave the shopping park for at least an hour if they wish to return.
Mr Williams claims he parked during two separate trips to the shopping park. The Borehamwood & Elstree Times has reported on several cases since 2008 of customers who claim they were at the shopping park during two visits spread out through the day.
In August last year two fines were overturned by the company after it was approached by the Borehamwood & Elstree Times.
Ex-builder Mr Williams said: “I came down here to get a tin of paint from Wickes that day. I then came back in the evening to do some shopping with the wife.
“The first time I came I parked near Wickes and the second time I parked near Lidl. They are completely different parts of the shopping park.
“I asked for evidence and there were photos of me arriving the first time and then going out. It’s a pain and a ridiculous situation. I’m a pensioner and I don’t really need this type of unfair fine.
“My sister-in-law had a similar problem. She didn’t pay the fine and nothing happened. I saw ParkingEye also appeared on Watchdog the other week.
“There needs to be somebody more decent in there who will deal with people fairly and squarely.”
Parking Eye, registered to a PO Box address in Chorley, lost its contract at Waterfields Shopping Park, in Watford, after it caused controversy last Christmas by fining stranded motorists who were trapped in the car park due to heavy traffic. Parking Eye say there was no connection with the incident – they left only because the new owner had an existing contract with another provider.
Blue badge holder Valerie Edwards, 47, 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 last year.
She claims 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 is also calling on the parking company to be replaced.
Valerie Edwards, 47, said: “I use double yellow lines as I’m a blue badge holder and I can do that. I can’t go anywhere without my car and it has made me wary about where I park.
“I still have to use the shopping park sometimes. I understand why you have to have some kind of surveillance for people because commuters could park there taking up spaces.
“It’s clearly a money-spinner for the company though. They are a bunch of chancers relying on people to not question the fines.
“I didn’t get a letter of apology from them afterwards. It really upset me to be faced with that bill as we all budget ourselves and I wasn't prepared for it."
David Brookes, spokesman for ParkingEye, said: “ParkingEye is engaged by the landlord to ensure that the terms and conditions of the car park are adhered to, as the retail park was suffering lots of abuse from motorists parking within the car park, but not shopping within the stores.
"ParkingEye are happy to receive and consider any written appeals from motorists who believe they have received a Parking Charge unfairly.
"Unfortunately, Mr Williams has not engaged in our appeals process to date, so we cannot comment further.”