Crunch meeting over parking at Whitlingham Country Park

Whitlingham visitors centre and car park where some users have been issued penalty fines by Parking Eye who enforce parking restrictions. Photo: Steve Adams Whitlingham visitors centre and car park where some users have been issued penalty fines by Parking Eye who enforce parking restrictions. Photo: Steve Adams

Monday, July 14, 2014
8:43 AM

A crunch meeting between bosses at a parking fine company and Whitlingham Country Park could end misery for hundreds of visitors.

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The park has come under fire in recent weeks after private firm Parking Eye, hired to catch visitors staying over the time they paid for, made £90,000 in the past year from fines.

That figure is just £10,000 below the amount Whitlingham Charitable Trust made from parking, which goes towards the maintenance of the popular broad.

Car parking signs leaves fined users confused
Probe into parking at Whitlingham Country Park

A catalogue of complaints about the unfairness of the fines have reached this newspaper.

And issues have been complicated further by vandals targeting pay machines in the car parks, meaning they are often out of order and confusion ensues about where to pay.

But a meeting between the Broads Authority, managers of the site for the Trust, and Parking Eye will be held on Tuesday to find a way to make parking fairer for visitors.

John Organ, head of governance at the Broads Authority, said he will be demanding clearer signs in the car park at the meeting with the parking firm.

There is a rule that people can pay the extra cash if they return late to their car, but it is not widely known and many are caught out and hit with a fine.

Many visitors have already been put off going to the park, fearing a £60 fine – or £100 if it is not paid within 14 days.

One visitor Chantal Schaul, 41, from Wymondham, who was sent a parking notice, said: “I have never been back there since because I felt treated like a criminal.”

Mr Organ said if there is a genuine reason for not getting a ticket then that will be taken in to consideration by Whitlingham Charitable Trust.

Last week South Norfolk council made the decision to hold on to a £10,000 grant for the trust until the parking fine issues were eased with clearer signs at the park.

Have you been affected by the parking issues at Whitlingham Country Park? Email rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk

11 comments

  • V said "From a website blog, dedicated to these scammers. :- "......the advice is to ignore parking cry completely, this is clearly a penalty and not a reflection of losses incurred, a private company cannot issue penalties unless acting for a council, and they are not in this case, are they ? So there you have it. They are acting on peoples fears that they have to cough up either one fine or the other." PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THESE PARASITES. Challenge them that their invoice is not a Genuine Pre Estimate of Loss, they will not accept this but should give you a POPLA code. Appeal to POPLA on the GPEOL along with no contract and plenty of other reasons to be found at pepipoo.com. You WILL win at POPLA cos when PE Parasites find that you have included GPEOL in your appeal they won't bother trying to defend it as they know they can't. The best thing? It costs THEM £33 per POPLA appeal, if you have more than one invoice, submit them to POPLA seperately!

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    GaryCantley

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • Quite simple answer, install barriers. Everyone will have to pay what is owed and the scammers don't get a penny.

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    GaryCantley

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • See my comment to V below please.

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    GaryCantley

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • The parking company makes money because visitors do not obey the rules, its simple really. If people paid what they owe for parking, which is a small price to pay for such a beautiful facility, then the parking company would not be able to charge so much in costs.

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    kg

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • I suspect these parking cowboys are actually costing Whitlingham Charitable Trust more than they are collecting, simply because thousands of people now stay away from the place and on another point most of these 'Fines' are actually invoices and unenforceable anyway, so just don't pay.

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    Vic Sponge

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • blister... you are an idiot! Treat the disease not the symptoms. With a fair parking system, people have no need to park on the roads.

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    Hampton

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

  • From a website blog, dedicated to these scammers. :- "......the advice is to ignore parking cry completely, this is clearly a penalty and not a reflection of losses incurred, a private company cannot issue penalties unless acting for a council, and they are not in this case, are they ? So there you have it. They are acting on peoples fears that they have to cough up either one fine or the other.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    "V"

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

  • Parking Thugs cashing in on Broards Authority greed. Anyone who is aware of the ex wheel clampers way of doing things will have no respect for either them or the people who hire them. The only thing that makes The Parking Thugs "buisiness" viable is human and corporate greed!

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    blackcab

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

  • It is almost impossible to get to Whitlingham park anyway because of all the selfish motorists who park on the approach road and make it single file for everyone else. They are quite happy to use the paths and facilities of the park but not pay a small parking fee for upkeep. High time to make it a no parking or permit parking from the Trowse junction to the entrance to the park, and also ban dogs from the park so there is less mess everywhere.

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    blister

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

  • It's not the parking company to blame, it's whitlingham park for giving them an open chequebook. Boycott the place until whitlingham install their own parking machines. As at Wells and Holkham for example.

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    MIKEJ

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

  • I just do not go & have not been for several years. It is just a cash cow & not a public amenity. It is a big pity that it has been allowed to be run as it is, as it use to be a lovely place to go & spend a afternoon.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    el84

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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