A car park operator in Louth has continued to maintain a ‘wall of silence’ against motorists who claim to have incorrectly received parking fines - and has refused to respond to questions from the Leader.
Euro Car Parks, which operates a pay-and-display car park in Eastgate, has been the subject of dozens of complaints in the last six months, particularly since automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras were introduced.
‘I think the company just hopes that most people who receive these parking charge notices will just pay it anyway’One of the affected motorists
In the last few weeks, many residents have threatened to ‘boycott’ the car park, following a number of disputed parking charge notices (PCNs), including one received by a local 81-year-old man who has since been threatened with court action and an increased fine of £160.
Many affected motorists have recently claimed that their attempts to appeal their parking charge notices have fallen on deaf ears, with many receiving no response whatsoever.
Euro Car Parks is an approved operator with the British Parking Association.
However, when a complaint is made, the company is not accountable to East Lindsey District Council - as the council does not own the land - nor are they answerable to the police.
Complaints about the car park first started in May this year when more than half a dozen people came forward with firm evidence that they had paid to leave their vehicle in the car park, and had left within the correct time frame,
However, despite this, they still received parking charge notices (PCNs) in the post, demanding payment of a £100 fine which could be reduced to £60 if paid within two weeks.
This also applied to some motorists who entered the car park and then left straight afterwards due to a lack of available parking spaces. Because the cameras picked up their number plates upon entering and leaving the car park - they also received parking charge notices shortly afterwards.
Although many of these motorists decided to go through the online appeal process, none of them heard back from the company - and neither did the Louth Leader, despite multiple email enquiries and assurances from a receptionist on the telephone that a Euro Car Parks representative ‘would respond in due course.’
In August, people contacted the Leader with evidence that they had received parking charge notices for not paying to park there on July 18 - despite the ticket machines being out-of-service on the day.
One of the victims, a Grantham woman who had been enjoying a day trip in Louth, said that she feared tourists could be put off from visiting the area.
At the time, another victim - a former East Lindsey parking enforcement officer who received a parking charge notice despite instantly leaving the car park when he discovered the ticket machine was broken - said: “I think the company just hopes that most people who receive these parking charge notices will just pay it anyway.”
Following a deluge of recent complaints, the Leader contacted Euro Car Parks once again last week.
We asked the company about their policy and how affected motorists could get a response to any legitimate concerns, complaints or ticket appeals in the future.
We also phoned the company last week, during which a receptionist confirmed that she had received our email and would ‘flag it up’ with someone ‘higher up’ in the company for them to respond.
A week later, we have still heard nothing - the ‘wall of silence’ continues.