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Council wary on parking issues

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 13, 2013

Comments (15)

NEWQUAY Town Council has been left with "egg on its face" after confronting a car parking firm over unfair fines, only to be shown they were all legitimate.

The clerk sent a letter to Parking Eye, which manages Fistral beach car park, after receiving half a dozen complaints from irate motorists.

The Cornish Guardian has also received numerous calls from people who had been caught out by the number plate scanner, which monitors exactly how long a car has been parked.

But in a response to the council, client services director, Mark Anfield, defended the company's policy, providing evidence that five of the six motorists had clearly flouted the regulations. There was no record of the sixth complaint on the system.

Mr Anfield said there were 24 signs posted around the car park which made clear the pay and display tariffs and conditions.

They also state that if anyone overstays, they can always purchase extra time before leaving the car park to avoid a fine.

Citing the individual cases, Mr Anfield said the first motorist had overstayed by 34 minutes, and another stayed for more than two hours without paying for any parking.

In two other cases, motorists overstayed the one hour free winter parking condition – with one parking for two and a half hours.

Mr Anfield said: "We have reviewed each of these cases and feel that we have treated these motorists fairly. It would be unfair to the vast majority of motorists who abide by the parking conditions, if we were to allow a small minority to park for free.

"If we were to take such an approach the car park would quickly become clogged with people who stayed all day without paying. This would be to the detriment of the majority of motorists, who would find they could not park to use the beach."

He said the policy mirrored that of Cornwall Council and Parking Eye complies with the British Parking Association's code of practice at all times.

At a meeting of Newquay Town Council on Wednesday, Councillor Andy Hannan warned against wading into fights without knowing the facts.

He said: "As far as I can see all the people who were fined by Parking Eye were flouting the regulations. We have to be careful in future that when we jump to their defence and can't substantiate what the public is saying, we can end up looking a bit hasty."

Colleague Norman Thompson added: "We could end up with egg on our faces again."

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  • AlexHJ  |  November 25 2013, 10:56AM

    As far as I am aware the law has recently changed - it is not enough to just ignore these tickets anymore! (see http://tinyurl.com/opdfvgo)

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  • Aliceaardvark  |  February 21 2013, 4:18PM

    These guys are profiteering and have no justification, nor authority for their ridiculous charges. In normal circumstances I would apeal to the land owners but seems they are in cahoots with the bandits!!

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  • pauly1  |  February 21 2013, 11:55AM

    The council have ended up with "egg on their faces", by believing what Parking Eye say. They are a private company , their interest is making a proffit. So what if people park their cars on fistral car park, is that realy such a bad thing?

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  • Aliceaardvark  |  February 20 2013, 1:26PM

    I feel seriously misrepresented by the Council on this matter and deeply concerned that an elected body can operate so much in ignorance of the facts and all known history of these people!!

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  • Aliceaardvark  |  February 20 2013, 1:25PM

    I feel seriously misrepresented by the Council on this matter and deeply concerned that an elected body can operate so much in ignorance of the facts and all known history of these people!!

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  • Jimyfish  |  February 20 2013, 11:08AM

    Totally agree with posts below, private parking companies cannot fine people on private land. They can only invite them to pay a charge, the motorist of course can decline this invoice. The British Parking Association is not independent, it is paid for and supported by membership fees from the parking companies. Parking companies like parking eye imitate legitimate parking tickets to make them look like authority issued ones and call them PCN's (parking charge notice) to look like official PCN's (penalty charge notices). The public have a right to know that you can ignore these unfair charges. Any debt collection agency letters can also be ignored as they are not bailiffs.

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  • Westdene  |  February 20 2013, 11:04AM

    It's extremely worrying that a paper doesn't do proper research and that councillors don't know the law before they comment and make decisions. Private Parking "tickets" are totally unenforceable and in many cases illegal. Parking Eye don't so court. What is of more concern is that this paper has removed so many comments from this story.

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  • pauly1  |  February 19 2013, 11:25PM

    Newquay councill are having the wool pulled ower their eyes by a private company whos only interest is in making a proffit for themself. To the detriment of the motorist, the tourist, and other buisnesses in newquay. Wake up council! Parking eye are driving tourists away.

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  • CLSurveys  |  February 19 2013, 8:02PM

    sorry for the multiple posts guys, they must be having problems on their site as an error message kept on popping up

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  • CLSurveys  |  February 19 2013, 6:37PM

    These fake tickets should be ignored, companies like parking eye have no legal right to issue tickets on the land unless they have propriety rights to the car park, or own it, neither of which is true in this case. Search google for vcs v hmrc 2012 or vcs v ibbotson. These cases outline the reality of private parking, this article calling the invoices 'fines' is fundamentally wrong, and is utter lazy journalism! These are not fines! Only courts can issue fines, not some two bit private parking company. Councils can issue penalties but these invoices are not them either, private parking fake tickets are not backed up by statute law, its just relies on contract law that is only ever enforceable if taken to the small claims and won by the parking companies. On the above the statistics for private parking companies as a whole for 2011 are such According to the Home Office - 1.8m tickets issued FOI request to the courts Claims made to the courts - 845 Before a judge - 49 for the motorists - 25 For the parking company - 24 So 1.8m tickets and 24 victories for the parking companies.

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