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To not pay this parking charge?

(7 Posts)
junkfoodaddict Fri 14-Nov-14 08:55:28

For the past two years, I have been attending a church playgroup one day a week. The group runs from 9am to midday once a week. I don't go every week as I work but the past six weeks I have been doing since I am no longer working. My friends also use the car park and have done for two years, every week or so.
On 3rd November I apparently over stayed my welcome (01:54) and incurred a charge. I understand this is not legally binding but a 'breech of contract' but I don't feel I should pay. AIBU?
The car park apparently is for 01:30 and I overstayed by 24 minutes but I was using a facility inside the building that actually operates for longer than the car park allows. Also as it is in effect a 'free' car park, I feel a £50 charge is too much, absolutely certain the car park was not 'losing anything' as it was nowhere near full, it never is as it is a small market town.
My friends have NEVER incurred a charge and they say if using the church group you can use the car park without incurring cost but I can't see how.
I have emailed the church group who have not replied and my DH phoned the supermarket (they don't own the car park) who took my car reg and phone number and hopefully will get back to me. DH says it sounds like they can arrange to get it waivered. I am going back today because everyone says it has always been two hours hence why I always attend from 10am to midday to ensure I don't receive a charge but at some point they obviously changed the time limit but didn't make it obvious. I can't prove that they did but my MIL is certain there is sign that says 'two hours'.

So should I pay? Ignore it? Appeal it? Obviously if I can find evidence of just one sign that says two hours, I have good grounds for the fine to be waivered. I am panicking slightly as I have NEVER got so much as a speeding ticket in my driving life and because I was there on 10th November too, fear another ticket (although never got one throughout October!)

Audeca Fri 14-Nov-14 09:04:01

Might be worth reading through this guide from Money Saving Expert on private car park 'fines'.

Apparently it used to be easier to ignore these charges, but the law changed in 2012.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Fri 14-Nov-14 09:08:08

Are there signs stating 2 hours? In any case go to money saving expert for advice.

junkfoodaddict Fri 14-Nov-14 09:16:38

Been on their website and may have grounds for appeal because it is a free car park and no loss of earning etc was incurred.
I am going to the car park in a bit to check for signage. Even if one left up that says two hours, I may have grounds for appeal?
It was never a delibrate 'breech of contract'. I have always parked there for under two hours when using the church services inside the building whose owners own the car park. It was a genuine mistake.

ReallyTired Fri 14-Nov-14 10:57:31

The car parking company will automatically turn down your appeal and you will need to appeal to POPLA. The money saving expert website is brilliant. I have recently won a POPLA appeal. if you pm me I can send you a copy of the appeal letter and ruling.

ReallyTired Fri 14-Nov-14 11:00:55

If the church owns the car park then it's worth writing to the church as they own the car park.

junkfoodaddict Fri 14-Nov-14 14:48:14

The church don't own it but when I went to see them today they immediately asked for the charge notice and said they would get it waiveered and add my car registration to the list so I won't get fined in future. Result!

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