The Louth Leader has seen a resurgence in complaints from motorists claiming to have received unfair charges from Euro Car Parks - but the company refuses to comment.
Regular readers may recall that, between May and October last year, this newspaper was inundated with complaints about the private car park from motorists who received parking charge notices (PCNs) - despite having either paid for their tickets, been unable to pay due to broken ticket machines, or quickly leaving the site due to all the parking spaces being full.
As reported previously, the company is not answerable to ELDC as the council does not own the land, nor is it the responsibility of the police.
Following a relative lull in complaints, the Leader has once again received a flurry of emails from disgruntled motorists over the last few weeks.
Andrea Weller, who lives in Sussex and was visiting family in Louth in late August, was ‘stunned’ to receive a PCN in the post a few days later - despite her and other motorists being unable to pay due to both ticket machines being ‘out of order’.
Andrea said: “Many other shoppers were similarly affected and, like us, many left notes on their dashboards explaining the situation.
“We believe that it must be patently obvious to Euro Car Parks that there was a problem paying, as for a period of time (on that day), nobody was able to buy a ticket - meaning that Euro Car Parks would be issuing a batch of charge notices.
“Also, when whoever services the machines arrived, it would have been clear that the machines were out of order. This should have been reported back and the PCNs should not have been issued.
“I’m staggered that Euro Car Parks does not have a mechanism in place to ensure people are not harassed in this way.”
The Leader has been supplied with photographic evidence which supports Andrea’s claims.
Andrea submitted an appeal to the company, but this was rejected. She has also appealed to POPLA (Parking On Private Land Appeals).
Meanwhile, Richard and Wendy Mahoney, from Lichfield, received a PCN after parking at Euro Car Parks during a visit on September 17.
Richard, 67, claims that he paid for two hours parking and left the site within 45 minutes - but still received the charge.
He said: “My wife and I had travelled from our home to visit Louth for the first time and stay one night at the Masons Arms.
“It was something of a nostalgic trip for me, as we went on the next day to Sutton on Sea, where I had spent many childhood holidays from 1957.
“I was very upset to receive the penalty notice. I never keep my car park tickets more than a day or so, as I have never had such a problem before - but realised the history of problems outlined on the internet.
“I had paid in cash for two hours and displayed my ticket in my car as requested.
“This company’s practices certainly don’t encourage visitors like us to return to the town.”
Richard submitted an appeal, and is now waiting to hear back from the company.
The Leader contacted Euro Car Parks after receiving the correspondence from Andrea, Richard, and a handful of other motorists in the last few weeks.
However, as with all of our previous enquiries, the company has not responded to our request for comment.