Hartlepool Marina motorist refuses to pay £100 parking penalty following registration row

The entrance to Hartlepool Marina car park. Picture by FRANK REIDThe entrance to Hartlepool Marina car park. Picture by FRANK REID
The entrance to Hartlepool Marina car park. Picture by FRANK REID
A driver who was fined after parking at Hartlepool marina is refusing to pay after insisting she purchased a ticket.

Emma Winter is sticking to her guns despite facing potential county court action over the £100 penalty charge notice.

She received a demand for payment in the post from Northwest Parking Management after visiting the Hartlepool Marina Car Park at Navigation Point last April.

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The parking charge notice stated her silver Citroen C3 had been observed parked “without payment”.

Emma says she paid £2 for her ticket, but the parking company she she did not enter her vehicle registration as required.Emma says she paid £2 for her ticket, but the parking company she she did not enter her vehicle registration as required.
Emma says she paid £2 for her ticket, but the parking company she she did not enter her vehicle registration as required.

Emma, 36, a carer from Peterlee, refused to pay, insisting that she paid and displayed a £2 ticket she got from a machine.

However, the company has told the Mail the charge was issued correctly, saying she did not enter her full registration details as clearly stated in the car park and only entered one letter.

Emma, who visited the marina with her partner and dog, says she was never made aware of this being the reason.

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She said: “We weren’t even there that long and left within the time.

"I have emailed them and said here’s the picture of the ticket. I have paid.”

Emma did not receive the penalty charge notice for several weeks due to being away from home by which time the deadline to appeal had passed and the charge had been passed to the parking company’s debt collection agency.

She said she has emailed the parking company, and spoke to its collections and solicitors since June last year, but has never been told she had not entered her registration.

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Emma added: “If it had asked for my registration and I had to enter this, I would assume that it would not have taken my money or gave a ticket until this was entered.”

Labour parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool Jonathan Brash has urged the company to withdraw the fine saying she clearly paid for a ticket.

Northwest Parking Management said the car park fully passed a British Parking Association (BPA) audit in January and that its tariffs and terms and conditions are clearly displayed.

They said: “It is clearly stated on the contractual signs that 'Drivers are required to purchase the correct amount of parking time to cover the full duration of their stay' and that the 'Duration of stay is calculated by ANPR cameras from the point of entry to point of exit'.

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"It also clearly states ‘Drivers must enter the full and correct vehicle registration into the payment machine’. It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure the vehicle fully complies with the terms & conditions of parking, this was not the case in this instance.”

They added there are no grounds under the BPA code of practice to cancel a charge for a major registration keying error.

But if an appeal is submitted within the correct timescales then a reduced fee of £20 would be offered for 14 days.

“In this instance Miss Winter did not submit an appeal,” they said adding she was clearly notified the opportunity had passed by email.

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“As the case remained outstanding as per our normal recovery process the case was passed to Debt Collection Bailiffs Limited (DCBL) on 30/6/22.

“As there are no grounds for cancellation of the PCN, I can only advise that Miss Winter corresponds directly with DCBL to avoid further recovery action by them.”

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