OAP’s £100 parking fine at Five Valleys car park scrapped

A £100 parking fine issued to an 80-year-old man has been scrapped after the SNJ highlighted the case.

As reported on our front page last week, retired tax inspector Anthony Birch was slapped with the fine in October after parking at Stroud’s Five Valleys multi-storey car park.

Mr Birch, who was shopping with wife Marie, attempted to pay the £1 parking fee using his phone.

Twenty minutes later he began to worry about whether he had paid correctly as like many older people he admits finding technology challenging at times.

He decided to go back and buy a ticket with cash which he displayed.

Feeling happy that the correct fee had been paid, the couple continued shopping.

Mr Birch, of Bisley Road, Stroud, was then horrified to receive a £100 fine in the post from parking operator Civil Enforcement Ltd.

When he checked his bank statement he found he had paid 1p twice using his phone – which was refunded both times.

Mr Birch appealed but it was rejected.

Although he bought a ticket with cash, it was outside the permitted payment period.

He followed this up with an appeal to parking ombudsman, POPLA.

After the SNJ’s article, the parking company wrote to Mr Birch cancelling the fine and offering an apology.

A spokesperson said: “We can see that the driver did make an attempt to pay via the phone and pay service but did not complete the transaction and then went on to pay with cash but did so outside the permitted payment period.

“On this very rare occasion, the appeal was incorrectly processed as the attempt to make earlier payment was not properly taken into consideration.

“We have now cancelled Mr Birch’s PCN and issued an apology. We have also provided further training to the staff member concerned.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused and accept that we fell short of our usual high standards on this occasion.”

Mr Birch said he was very satisfied with the result.

“To get this letter was very satisfying,” he said. “I hope this will do others some good when they appeal their fines.”

“I would advise people not to pay up straight away if they feel their fine was unfair.”

Creative Car Park, which manages the site, said customers who feel they have received a fine unfairly should email parking@fivevalleysstroud.co.uk with the PCN number.

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