The family were surprised to get a ticket despite never getting out of their car or shutting down the engine – but the parking lot operator insists the fine is deserved
Image: Getty Images / Westend61)
A family has been fined Â£ 60 for driving through a busy car park even though they never parked.
Julie Sutcliffe, 51, was on a family vacation to Cornwall in August.
On August 12, they visited Newquay, which was very busy at the time, and the family struggled to find a parking space.
They had visited three or four parking lots, all full.
Desperate, they drove slowly around a parking lot for a little over 10 minutes hoping someone would leave so they could stop.
No one did, so they drove off, before they managed to find a spot in another parking lot.
But to their surprise, when they returned home from their trip, they got a Â£ 60 ticket from the operator of the car park they had driven into.
Sutcliffe said: “When we got back from our vacation I opened a letter saying we were fined Â£ 60 for parking for 13 minutes without paying. That was the time we had spent driving.
“I appealed saying that at no time did we stop, let alone turn off our engine.
“Our appeal was refused. To say I’m disgusted is an understatement.”
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The family paid the fine because it seemed like the easier option than fighting the ticket.
âI thought I would pay it because I didn’t want to worry about going any further,â Sutcliffe said. “It’s a big company and we are a family.”
The Mirror asked Smart Parking if they would refund the Â£ 60 because the family had not parked.
But Smart Parking said the fine was deserved and there would be no refund.
A spokesperson for Smart Parking said: âSmart Parking is proud to be a member of the British Parking Association and strictly follows its guidelines.
âAt Newquay parking lot, we use a state-of-the-art ANPR parking management system to ensure that real customers can always find a place to park.
âIt is important to remember that the parking lot is private land. Therefore, when deciding to park, motorists should always check the conditions of use which are clearly outlined in numerous signs on the site.
“In the case of [Sutcliffe] she stood in the parking lot for over 12 minutes without paying, so she correctly received a charge, which she has now paid for.
Last week, The Mirror reported that a man was fined for the time he spent finding parking and waiting in line to buy a ticket.
Paul Adams, 55, says he paid an Â£ 8.50 ticket to St. Ives which would have kept him parked all day.
But some time later he was fined Â£ 60 from Armtrac Security Services Ltd, which operates the car park.
As Adams read the notice he was shocked to find he was charged for the 15 minutes he waited to find a seat and the 10 minutes he waited in a queue to buy a ticket at the machine.