Lincolnshire Trading Standards said it can’t tackle complaints from drivers who received incorrect fines at Lincoln’s Tritton Road Retail Park, where Curry’s, HomeSense and Pets at Home are based.
It comes after The Lincolnite put the spotlight again on dodgy fines at the retail park, where people were charged £100 for allegedly leaving the premises — but they had receipts to prove they shopped there during that time.
The car park is operated by UKPC, who have so far failed to respond to all our media requests, and many other frustrated motorists reported difficulties in trying to get hold of the firm.
With UKPC unreachable, and more people coming forward with similar issues, The Lincolnite challenged the parking warden on site to explain the situation, but he said he was “not allowed to comment”.
Then, The Lincolnite contacted Lincolnshire Trading Standards, who said does it not have the power to deal with a complaint where a customer, for example, is saying they didn’t leave the site, despite what a parking charge is claiming.
Instead, Trading Standards say this should go through the appeals process on the ticket with the car park operator, and then to POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals), which is a private dispute resolution company set up and funded by the British Parking Association (BPA) — and UKPC is a member.
However, if a parking company ever failed to display its terms and conditions correctly, or its terms and conditions were deemed unfair, then Trading Standards would be allowed to get involved.
So POPLA is the service that people should use if they’ve received a ticket, appealed, and then had their appeal rejected. And if people had their charge cancelled, but want to complain about the way the company is operating, this should be referred to the BPA.
If you are fined, it is advised not to automatically pay it straight away, according to MoneySavingExpert.
The BPA did not address the issues with the incorrect fines in Lincoln put forward to them, but instead said in a statement: “We understand that no-one likes getting a parking ticket and around 80% of motorists don’t.
“Parking operators can’t always know all the circumstances at the time a ticket is issued, and some tickets are cancelled when additional information comes to light.
“If you receive a ticket you believe is unfair or has been issued in error, contact the operator who issued it to appeal in writing providing any evidence.
“If an appeal is rejected, the operator will provide details of the independent appeals service for BPA members, POPLA, which provides independent redress for motorists in England.
“We investigate potential breaches of our Code of Practice which the public can submit via our online portal.”
The Lincolnite also contacted POPLA and is awaiting a response. We asked the ombudsman service how many complaints and appeals had been received so far this year relating to the car park at the Tritton Road Retail Park operated by UKPC, and of those how many were successful.