‘People simply give in and pay up’: A Norfolk car park may be mischarging its users

The ticket machine blocked by building work. (Picture: Laurie Scott)

The ticket machine blocked by building work. (Picture: Laurie Scott) - Credit: Laurie Scott

A Cromer car park may be mischarging users after a member of the public received a fine for parking even though they were unable to get a ticket from the machine.

Shop owner Peter Gibson, 48, from Cromer, parked at the car park of the now closed Budgens, in Cromer, on March 2, for half an hour.

When he went to buy a ticket he found that the ticket machine had been fenced off.

The following week Mr Gibson received a fine for £100, or £60 if he paid it immediately.

'The ticket machine was behind a fenced off area full of builders' equipment. I couldn't use the machine so I naturally assumed that this machine was now turned off,' he said.

'I was surprised and upset that I was going to have to spend time and effort sorting this out. I think we have all heard the horror stories about parking companies.'

Gary Dickenson, president of the Cromer chamber of trade, said: 'We've been concerned for some time that the operators have been mischarging car park users.

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'We know of instances where individuals have dropped people off and have been charged in the hope people simply give in and pay up.'

The car park is managed by NPE Ltd. The company has told Mr Gibson that the charge is cancelled as they were unaware access to the machine was blocked.

A spokesman said: 'Since we have been made aware we are not monitoring the car park. No drivers will be pursued for any parking charges since the pay and display machine was out of use at Cromer. Any charges that may have been automatically produced will be cancelled.'

Mr Dickenson and Mr Gibson are pleased with how fast NPE resolved the issue.

'In the end its nice to get it all sorted so quickly' Mr Gibson added

The Budgens store has been closed since February 21, while it is being taken over by the Co-op. The re-opening date has not yet been announced.

If you have been fined by the car park get in contact by phone 01263 628311 or email nnn.news@archant.co.uk.

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