Outrageous Parking Charges in Darlington Car Park

Outrageous Parking Charges in Darlington Car Park.
Confusion over unusual parking charges from Darlington car park. The owners of Russell Street car park in Darlington changed hands on September 22. Drivers have complained of “outrageous” parking charges after claiming they have been sent fines despite paying for tickets.

Users of Russell Street car park, in Darlington, have been given hundreds of pounds worth of parking fines since September 22, when it changed hands.

The land is owned by Frank’s The Flooring Store but is leased out to private company, Civil Enforcement Ltd.

On September 22, payment machines were covered with black bin bags with signs instructing people to use the Tap2Park app to pay. The fines issued led drivers to believe that Tap2Park was not informed that it should no longer be taking payment.

Mark Hargrave, a Primark employee, said: “I’ve had parking charges even though I have proof I’ve paid, since September I’ve had six £100 fines. They put a new sign up, but it was practically invisible, how are we supposed to see that at 5:30am in the dark when there’s no lighting?”

Gary McCrossan, a colleague of Mark’s, said: “Civil Enforcement failed to not only inform the users of the car park but even Tap2Park which was under the impression it was still running the payment process for the site. Even when challenged with evidence of payments to Tap2Park, Civil Enforcement is rejecting any challenge.”

Susan Tweddle, another Primark employee, said: “I appealed the first parking ticket thinking it must just be a mistake. Then I received a second parking ticket for October 21-22 saying I had left my car for 28.5 hours. I have a copy of receipts paid to Tap2Park for both mornings as I leave about 10.30am each day.”

A spokesman for Tap2Park said: “Tap2Park is a cashless payment system that we provide to clients who manage parking on private land. We do not manage car parks directly nor do we issue parking charges, and any funds paid via Tap2Park are remitted to the parking operator. If a driver has received a parking charge in error, they will need to contact the issuing body to appeal.”

The manager of Frank’s The Flooring Store Darlington said: “The land is owned by Frank’s but operated by a private company.”

A spokeswoman for The British Parking Association said: “I can confirm that Civil Enforcement Ltd. is a member of our Approved Operator Scheme which means that they are required to adhere to our Code of Practice. Our members are required to provide details on how to further appeal, to the free and independent appeals service, POPLA when rejecting an appeal. The appeals process with POPLA is available for 28 days following the operator rejecting the appeal. If motorists wish to challenge the charges issued, I would advise that they follow this process.”

Peter Gibson MP said: “A number of constituents have contacted me following receiving parking charges at Russell Street car park. My understanding is that the car park is under new management and the previous management company failed to remove some signage, which has caused confusion to customers. To date I have resolved 7 parking charges on behalf of constituents, and I am happy to take up any further parking charge queries with the new management company if people contact my office.”

Source: Northern Echo

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