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‘No children exited the vehicle’: Angry mum fined by controversial firm for using parent car park space

PUBLISHED: 16:07 29 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:56 07 January 2019

A woman has been issued with a parking fine by NPE after a visit to Earlham House Shopping Centre car park  Picture : ANTONY KELLY

A woman has been issued with a parking fine by NPE after a visit to Earlham House Shopping Centre car park Picture : ANTONY KELLY

An angry mum has hit out at a controversial car parking firm after she was hit with a fine for using a parent-and-child space - while her son was in the car.

A woman has been issued with a parking fine by NPE after a visit to Earlham House Shopping Centre car park  Picture : ANTONY KELLYA woman has been issued with a parking fine by NPE after a visit to Earlham House Shopping Centre car park Picture : ANTONY KELLY

She was fined £60 by a private parking company after using the car park at Earlham House Shopping Centre in Norwich on December 18.

A parking notice sent to her by National Parking Enforcement (NPE) said her car had been “parked in a child and parent bay whilst unaccompanied out of the vehicle by a child 12 years or less”.

But the mum said her two-year-old child was with her at the time.

Posting a picture of the notice on Facebook in the Secret Norwich Recommends group, she asked: “A little random but does anyone know if this is legally enforceable?... apparently they don’t think my 2.5 year old needs to be parked in the parent and child space at Earlham Rd shops!”.

Several people who commented told her to ignore the notice and “not give the company a penny” – but others warned that ignoring it could result in court action.

A spokesman for NPE said the fine was issued as “no children exited the vehicle during the period of parking”.

“The signage at this site clearly states that the parent and child bays are reserved for parents who require the extra space to assist getting young children in and out of their vehicle,” she said.

In a separate article on the NPE website, claims that private parking fines could be ignored were dismissed as “misinformation”.

The article said: “National Parking Enforcement Ltd has, in 75pc of recent court cases, been successful against drivers who choose to take legal advice from internet bloggers, and we have recently teamed up with a firm of solicitors who specialise in recovering unpaid parking charge notices.”

Les Harris from Heartsease clashed with NPE earlier this year when the company issued him with a fine after he briefly parked in Harvey Lane to attend to his sick daughter Aisha.

Following publicity by this newspaper the company’s managing director offered to cancel all charges and gave a toy voucher to Aisha.

In May NPE was accused of discrimination after installing a controversial new payment system at the Earlham House Shopping Centre car park, which meant any shopper staying more than an hour would have to pay for a ticket via a mobile phone.

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