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Victory for Ipswich woman after £100 fine for 12 minutes in car park

PUBLISHED: 08:14 08 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:44 08 January 2019

A £100 parking fine was issued after one customer spent just 12 looking for a space - only to move onto another car park instead Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

A £100 parking fine was issued after one customer spent just 12 looking for a space - only to move onto another car park instead Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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A woman who was fined £100 after she spent 12 minutes hunting for a parking space before quitting the car park has had the charge cancelled.

The car park is close to the new council car park on Crown Street and has seen two drivers fined for stays of 15 minutes or less - and neither left the car park during that time Picture: GOOGLE MAPSThe car park is close to the new council car park on Crown Street and has seen two drivers fined for stays of 15 minutes or less - and neither left the car park during that time Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Sandra Bates, 52, of Lanark Road, Ipswich, ttempted to park at the busy NCP car park in Tower Ramparts on December 21.

Travelling with her mother, she picked it as it was close to the centre of town and would save her walking too far.

After spending 12 minutes looking for a space in her BMW she eventually quit and parked in the Ipswich Borough Council car park in Charles Street instead - only to be landed with a fine on Christmas Eve.

NCP car parks have a grace period of 10 minutes in which you can enter and exit without being charged but she had overstayed this by two minutes.

Mrs Harrald has the parking ticket from the car park she did use in Elm Street, Ipswich Picture: JAKE FOXFORDMrs Harrald has the parking ticket from the car park she did use in Elm Street, Ipswich Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

Appealing the fine on the grounds she never entered a parking bay or switched off her engine, NCP refused to rescind the fine and told her to pay by February 1.

Mrs Bates and husband Gerald were “disgusted” that the evidence and explanation they had sent with their appeal had not been considered substantial enough to overturn it.

But after she contacted us, NCP have agreed to cancel the fine.

An NCP spokesman said: “The customer was issued a parking charge notice as they were on our car park for over 12 minutes.

Alison Harrald was in the car park for 15 minutes trying to pay before moving onto a different car park, but NCP Ltd still sent her a £100 fine for using their car park Picture: JAKE FOXFORDAlison Harrald was in the car park for 15 minutes trying to pay before moving onto a different car park, but NCP Ltd still sent her a £100 fine for using their car park Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

“We have a grace period on this car park which allows 10 minutes for customers to drive in and then exit the car park, should they not wish to park.

“The PCN was issued correctly on these grounds, but as a gesture of goodwill we will cancel the PCN on this occasion.”

Speaking after the fine was cancelled, Mrs Bates said: “I am so pleased that NCP have seen sense at last.”

Mrs Bates is not the first to complain about the issue.

On November 22, Alison Harrald travelled from Needham Market to the Tower Ramparts car park.

The ticket machine repeatedly refused her coins and after spending 15 minutes trying to pay by phone she gave up and parked in the IBC Elm Street car park.

On December 5 she was shocked to find she had been fined £100. Her subsequent appeal was also denied by NCP.

NCP did not provide a comment on December 6 when approached about the case, but have now responded to Mrs Harrald’s case.

A spokesman said: “From looking at all transactions on the machines on this car park at this date and time, we can see that there were 18 payments made via machines and the pay by phone payment method with no problems reported or showing up on our systems.

“We believe that the PCN was fairly issued on this occasion as other customers paid using these methods during this time.

“Although the customer lost her appeal with NCP, we inform all our customers of the further appeal they can make to an external independent organisation POPLA, who will review and whose decision we agree to stand by.”

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