Outrage over '˜profiteering' Hastings car park after false fine

A father accused a car park operator in Hastings of profiteering by issuing false fines.

Carl Baldwin was given a fine after allegedly staying for more than four hours in Morrison's car park
Carl Baldwin was given a fine after allegedly staying for more than four hours in Morrison's car park

Carl Baldwin was given a £85 fine for allegedly staying in the Morrison’s car park for more than four hours, double the maximum stay.

But he had actually dropped his son off for work in the morning and returned four hours later to pick him up, leaving the Waterworks Road car park in between.

The parking charge notice (PCN) was cancelled but Mr Baldwin fears other may be duped into paying up when they do not need to.

Carl Baldwin's parking charge notice SUS-161116-154203001

“What if this was an older person who may have paid the fine without complaint? I just wonder how many people get issued these fines,” he said.

“It’s not acceptable, I think it’s completely unjust.”

Mr Baldwin dropped his 18-year-old son off at Morrison’s at around 9.50am on Sunday, November 6, and left straight away.

Four hours later, he returned to pick his son up and did some shopping before leaving at about 2.10pm.

Carl Baldwin's parking charge notice SUS-161116-154203001

The 49-year-old office manager received the PCN on Saturday (November 12) saying he had been in the car park the whole time with pictures of his BMW X3 entering in the morning and leaving in the afternoon.

But it had no images of him leaving just after dropping his son off and entering before picking him up.

Mr Baldwin immediately complained to Morrison’s who cancelled the fine, and appealed to Parking Eye, the company who runs the car park, which upheld the supermarket’s decision.

He was told there is a chance the cameras can wrongly think cars have overstayed if people return within three hours, but this does not apply to him.

The father cannot understand why he was fined as he has done this routine many times before and is convinced the company deliberately charged him.

Another issue for Mr Baldwin is the closed nature of the car park companies where you have to write to them to appeal charges and no other way of contacting them, which he said caused him great stress and should be compensated.

A ParkingEye spokesman said: “We encourage people who have received a parking charge to appeal if they think there are mitigating circumstances.

“In this case the motorist appealed and upon assessment of his case, ParkingEye has cancelled the parking charge.”

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