18:06 Tuesday 11 February 2014

Couple's vow to fight parking charge to the end

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

11/11/13 Parking Problems - Queen's Hospital, Belevedere Rd,, Burton 11/11/13 Parking Problems - Queen's Hospital, Belevedere Rd,, Burton

A COUPLE in Newhall have vowed they will not give up in their fight against a hospital parking fine they say is unfair.

Lee Sperry and his wife Angela claim the £70 penalty notice they received from Parking Eye is incorrect, and that the automatic number plate recognition cameras must have failed when they visited Queen’s Hospital at the start of December.

The pair, of Burton Road, Castle Gresley, have appealed to Parking Eye and asked the hospital for help, but neither of these avenues have given them the result they wanted.

They received the fine just before Christmas, when their grandson was recovering from a stint in hospital. He had been taken ill one night and was rushed to Queen’s by his mum and dad. The following day Mrs Sperry ferried the pair back and forth between their home in Newhall and the hospital, and it was on one of these trips she was given a ticket.

“She was backwards and forwards like a yo-yo, and she didn’t get out of the car, but she got a ticket saying she spent more than an hour in bays. Somewhere along the line they’ve not clocked her.

“How can we prove that she’s gone back and forth,” said Mr Sperry.

He believes their car may have been obscured by a high-sided vehicle when his wife drove away.

Mrs Sperry, who suffers from osteoarthritis and cannot walk far without pain, has now said she will not park at the Belvedere Road site, preferring pain to the ordeal of dealing with further charges.

“It seems this new system is a cash cow. For a lot of people, they visit the hospital at their lowest point, and they have other things on their mind,

“My wife is adamant we aren’t paying. We won’t line their pockets for something we have not done,” Mr Sperry added.

The matter has now been referred to an independent appeals service.

A spokesman for Parking Eye said: “Car park users enter into a contract to pay the appropriate amount for the duration of their visit or not exceed free parking limits. A parking charge becomes payable when that contract is breached; when, for example, insufficient funds are deposited to pay for the time parked or free parking limits are exceeded. A reasonable grace period is always offered that is sufficient for normal usage of the car park in question. The motorist in this case exceeded the maximum stay of the car park by nearly an hour.

“We understand that genuine mistakes are sometimes made. We therefore operate an audited appeals process and encourage people to appeal if they feel there are mitigating circumstances. If a motorist disagrees with our decision they have the option to appeal to the independent appeals service (POPLA).

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