Patient could take parking firm to small claims court over charge at Norwich Community Hospital

Nick Boreham at the Bowthorpe Community Hospital where he has successfully appealed his parking fine

Nick Boreham at the Bowthorpe Community Hospital where he has successfully appealed his parking fine, but has not got his payment back. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A hospital patient is considering taking a parking firm to small claims court after they banked £60 despite cancelling his fine.

Tim and Kath Powell received parking fines at Bowthorpe Community Hospital even though they had corr

Tim and Kath Powell received parking fines at Bowthorpe Community Hospital even though they had correct tickets. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

It comes after a parade of complaints against Civil Enforcement Ltd and Park Solve, the companies responsible for the car park at Norwich Community Hospital in Bowthorpe.

In all cases reported to this newspaper, the fines have been cancelled on appeal.

Mr Boreham visited the hospital on July 19 and kept his ticket, which had half an hour left to run when he left. Appealing the notice he enclosed a cheque for £60 in case the appeal was rejected, in the hope he would avoid a higher tariff.

'Believing in people being honest, I put a cheque for £60 into the envelope along with evidence I should not have been charged, and asking them to return the cheque,' said the 72-year-old from Honingham.

'The next letter I got explained the fine had been cancelled, but it did not say it had been cancelled and your cheque returned. 'We have checked the bank statements and the £60 has left the account.'

After visiting the Citizens Advice Bureau, Mr Boreham is considering taking the company to small claims court.

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'Once they had the proof I didn't owe them any money I thought they would return it instead of putting it in their bank,' he added.

Two weeks earlier, a 78-year-old retired nurse also got fined by the car park operators, but has since won an appeal.

Her daughter, Jane Campbell, said visitors to the hospital are 'sitting ducks' for the private parking firm.

'A lot of people parking there are really vulnerable,' she said. 'The whole thing is disgraceful. They will get away with it as an awful lot of people will be paying because they can't be bothered to fight it.'

Paul Larman, Estate Manager at Norwich Community Hospital said the trust has recently put up more signage with information about parking.

He said: 'If someone decides to appeal a penalty charge, they are not required to send any money while the appeals process is taking place. This is because the time limit is suspended while the company considers the appeal. If an appeal is rejected, the time limit for payment is reinstated.'

Company offers solution to 'car park abuse'

Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust has said Park Solve Ltd is 'involved in the day to day management of the car park' while Civil Enforcement Ltd are 'responsible for issuing and enforcing charges'. The contract began in October 2016.

On its website Civil Enforcement Ltd say they offer solutions to 'car park abuse'. They have not responded to requests for comment.

Civil Enforcement Ltd is one of the largest buyers of DVLA vehicle registration data from the government agency.

In the last three years it has requested information almost half a million times from the DVLA,including 215,536 requests in 2016-17.

One former nominee director of the company - Andrew Moray Stuart - was named as a nominee director in hundreds of British companies in a 2012 investigation by The Guardian and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Moray Stuart resigned his directorships in February 2013, replaced on the same day by nominee director Willem Marthinus De Beer, of South Africa, who holds 205 appointments.

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