Rip Off Britain: Lawyer Gary Rycroft gives tips on parking tickets
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A motorist was left furious after they received a parking fine despite car park machines being broken. Other drivers have now joined in and decided to boycott the car park. They also warned others “not to” use their spaces.
The fine was issued to the driver after they used Hinckley’s Britannia Shopping Centre car park back in May.
At the time, staff at NCP, who run the car park, were aware machines were out of service, but the penalty was still issued, causing anger and frustration.
The situation has now led to wider questions about parking practices at the Britannia Centre car park, LeicestershireLive reported.
Many other drivers have been left angered by the fines they also received.
However, NCP said there was never a time when the car park was left without a working machine.
The company added that mobile payments could also be made.
In an online debate, several people spoke out about the parking situation, with one revealing they’d been fined despite the machines not working.
They said: “Has anyone else received a parking fine from the Britannia Centre car park for the evening of May 4?
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“The machines were all out of order but an employee of NCP told me and others waiting to pay to give his name if we received a penalty notice.”
The post received a series of other comments from people who had been fined by NCP at the same car park.
One person said they had been issued with a penalty charge notice for arriving just moments after their ticket expired.
They commented: “I will never use it again having been penalised for running over by three minutes.”
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Others urged drivers to stay away from the car park.
One person commented: “No one uses the Britannia car park anymore because of these problems.”
Another added: “I’d think everyone in Hinckley has received a ticket from Britannia Centre. Do not use that car park.”
A spokesperson for NCP said: “While there were issues with two of the four pay machines at Britannia car park in May, which didn’t work for a total of seven days in the month, the other two machines on the site were fully functioning throughout, and we can see consistent payments throughout the month. Customers also had the ability to pay through our ParkPass app (as advertised on our tariff board in the car park).
“When a customer’s parking session expires, NCP offers a ten-minute grace period, which is in line with NCP’s membership with the British Parking Association’s approved operator scheme code of practice.
“In May, there was actually a decrease in the number of PCNs issued compared to other months and the lowest in 2022 at this car park, with 98.3% of customers paying for their parking successfully – more than the average across the NCP estate. This doesn’t suggest there is a major issue, although we accept that some customers may have found paying harder than normal on the days two pay machines were not working correctly.
“On this basis, where customers parking at the Hinckley Britannia car park have received PCNs and appealed, we have already accepted their appeals. I would recommend that any customer who has contacted your news outlet about a PCN they have received because they had not been able to pay, should contact NCP on [email protected] and we will review each PCN on a case by case basis.”
Britannia Shopping Centre made clear it wasn’t in charge of the car park in question.
A spokesperson told said: “We are aware of drivers being penalised when the machines are out of order.
“Unfortunately, we do not have anything to do with our parking on site at the Britannia Shopping Centre as that is under the management of NCP. Anyone with complaints or issues about parking charges should contact NCP.”
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