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Calls for action over 'harsh' parking firm

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: August 30, 2011

ANGRY: Victoria Davison has complained after being given a parking ticket at Exeter Central Station

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ANGRY motorists are demanding action from the private parking regulator after claiming they were treated harshly by an enforcement firm in the city.

The Echo has highlighted a string of recent complaints about parking firm PPS.

Motorists have expressed concern about the way they have been treated at Exeter's Central Station and other privately owned city centre car parks.

Now two more drivers have contacted the Echo claiming they should not have been given tickets by Premier Parking Solutions, based in Newton Abbot.

Both have contacted the British Parking Association (BPA) – a trade body which regulates firms. They are calling for it to cancel membership for PPS.

Schoolteacher Chris Charlwood, 50, from Cheriton Fitzpaine, was given a £75 fine at Exeter Central Station after PPS claimed his ticket was not visible enough.

The deputy headteacher said: "I was given a fine despite my parking ticket being displayed," he said.

"But because it was in a recess on my dashboard common on some Peugeot cars the parking operative did not see it.

"Nowhere is the motorist specifically directed to a designated display position within their vehicle where the ticket must be displayed. I have complained to the BPA in the strongest terms about the Draconian and unaccountable manner in which this firm appear to manage their parking operations."

Victoria Davison, from Bradninch, was also given a £75 fine after parking at Central Station. She has also complained to the BPA.

She said her ticket was also on display, but facing downwards. "I have written to PPS about the fine," she said.

"But they have threatened to place it in the hands of a debt collector if it is not paid.

"I'm not paying it because my parking ticket was valid. I've complained to the BPA," she said.

The latest complaints come after the Echo featured a story about a patient fined by a different company at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital when her treatment overran. Her appeal was rejected.

A BPA spokeswoman said complaints would be investigated.

She said: "We urge those who feel that they have been treated unfairly to contact us with full details.

"The BPA investigates all complaints made against members of its Approved Operator Scheme and disciplinary action is taken against any operator who is found to be in breach of the code of practice." Earlier this year PPS was ordered by Network Rail, which owns the car park in front of Central Station, to be more lenient towards drivers.

It followed complaints made by city MP Ben Bradshaw following a spate of enforcement tickets issued to drivers.

In one case a driver from Exeter was given a parking charge within a minute of pulling on to the station car park.

Despite being contacted by the Echo, nobody was available for comment from PPS.

If you feel you have been harshly penalised by a parking firm contact the Echo newsdesk on 01392 442239.

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  • Stuboy13  |  August 28 2012, 1:35PM

    I myself have had the misfortune to be fined by these awful people, in a story very similar to that of Ms Davison: I bought a ticket from the machine as instructed then put it in my pocket so as not to lose it, when I came back to my car I had been fined!!! Disgusting

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  • Zamzara  |  September 01 2011, 2:58PM

    Do not pay: a ticket from a private company is not a real fine, and so called debt collectors have no powers. It's all a bluff. Forget the BPA, they are not a regulator, they are a lobbyist for the industry.

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  • roverdale  |  August 30 2011, 10:28PM

    If you use your car, you are going to get stung. Devon County Council, the biggest stingers for their on street parking tariffs, are doing there utmost to discourage the motorist from using the car, so why use it? Only the motorist themselves can answer that question. When will people learn not to go anywhere near a charged for parking area, there are many places where there are still free parking.

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  • withe82  |  August 30 2011, 8:58PM

    Hi me again sorry for the pps accussation you seem to articulate to be one of them Lot! I usually walk to town to do my bit so parking is not normally a issue. £75 is a lot of money to me and I feel it is a bit excessive for being 5 mins late back to a half empty car park! I never will use private parks like this one again so over the Years pps will lose out. Sorry I just do not like mob rule a feel car parks , security etc should be correctly policed / wardened! In future I shall try and be more carefull it must be nice to never be late etc x

  • 1bitten2shy  |  August 30 2011, 7:50PM

    I'm with tizsmart on this one! I can't see the problem. you wouldnt complain about Waterstones charging you for a book you could borrow for free at the local library, or at Blockbusters if you were late returing a DVD. Why is parking any different? They are a business with the aim to make a profit. Why is that wrong all of a sudden? Do you write in complaint everytime you buy your shopping at Tesco or when you pay to enter a tourist attraction. They are a commercial enterprise, we need them to keep the economy going. I assume PPS and other parking companies provide employment and pay corporation tax on their profits. Why is parking seen as so different. Am bemused.

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  • tizsmart  |  August 30 2011, 7:05PM

    withe82 standard accusation for anyone expressing an opinion that doesn't back the E&E story in question, bring on the witch hunt! I'm not a "PPS Mole" just someone who is sick and tired of people who can't follow simple rules whining about getting parking tickets. At the end of the day if you had been back to your car 5 minute early and still had a ticket then fair play I'd be right behind you, the truth is you didn't. One of the people in this story claims that their car has an area the ticket can get out of sight, so for the love of all that is good put it somewhere else! Someone else who posted says they left their windows open and then seem surprised the ticket blew away! This is just indicative of a general "Daily Mail" blame culture where someone else always has to be responsible, sometimes you just have to man up and accept you got it wrong. Whether the fines are fair or not I don't really care, no doubt they are on the notice board by the ticket machine, so in my personal view we all have fair chance to choose to park elsewhere, as someone else has said there are plenty of alternatives in the area, so if you don't like it vote with your feet. My point is it seems in your own and many other cases there are complaints about a company who has issued parking tickets for valid reasons, I just don't understand why it's worthy of news print. I am hearted that many others are similarly bemused by this, maybe there is chance for us as a nation yet. Personally I'm sorry you got a fine, but it was within your power to prevent that happening, maybe a pay on exit car park would be a better option for you in the future.

  • withe82  |  August 30 2011, 6:01PM

    Tizmart are you a pps mole???

  • MrMeMeMe  |  August 30 2011, 5:57PM

    I do hope that this parking company will start to clamp pedestrians soon...another revenue stream in these hard times...

  • withe82  |  August 30 2011, 5:49PM

    Hey tizsmart are you a pps mole? You seem very pro rip off car parks!

  • tizsmart  |  August 30 2011, 5:39PM

    withe82 the point is YOU WERE late, stop whining and make some provision for appointments running over, it's your own responsibility. If it happened to me I'd be kicking myself for being to tight to fork out a few more pence for parking, not *****ing about the company that runs the site.