A controversial parking firm is once again causing frustration to shoppers at a Lincoln retail park, with two people receiving parking fines which they claim are bogus.
It’s not the first time people have complained about charges in the car park at the Tritton Road Retail Park, where Currys, Home Bargains and Pets at Home are located, among other retailers.
The Lincolnite has reported about the issue for over six years, and dodgy activity was previously uncovered, such as rule changes without warning and attendants allegedly encouraged to ‘bend the rules’ for bonuses.
The latest incident comes after reader Jackie Reid took her elderly mum shopping during the morning of Monday, October 11. She went into Home Bargains and Pets at Home, and when she returned to her car she saw a parking charge on it with the time of 10.17am.
The 57-year-old’s receipt from Home Bargains with the time of 10.37am was only 20 minutes after the charge notice, which states “vehicle owner/driver left site”. She said that definitely was not the case, as she then spent 30 minutes walking around the car park to try and find an attendant — without any success.
As she was about to leave, a car pulled up and a man got out saying he was the “superintendent” of the warden, and that the charge should not have been issued, but that she would have to go through the UKPC online to appeal it.
Jackie told The Lincolnite: “I am absolutely furious and to not be able to find the attendant or speak to him/her was very frustrating.
“At no stage did I leave the site. My mother struggles to walk 100 metres apart from anything else.
“I am waiting for them (UKPC) to come back to me about my appeal, but it is almost an impossibility to get to speak to someone there.”
She added that when she went back on the UKPC website later in the day to look at the photos of her car again, they had vanished and it said her appeal was “on hold”.
Signage states that there is a maximum stay of three hours, and if you leave the site whilst this vehicle remains in the car park you may be liable to receive a parking charge.
The Lincolnite went to the car park on Tuesday, October 12 and, whilst there, another man received a fine — but no attendant was to be seen. They appear to stay covert in their unmarked cars in order to avoid confrontation with shoppers.
Simon Gabriel, who is from Doncaster and working in Lincoln, popped into Starbucks for a coffee at 12.03am.
When he came out just 11 minutes later, there was already a ticket on his van stating “not parked correctly within the markings of the bay or space”.
Soon after though, the parking warden/attendant who had issued the fine was nowhere to be seen.
Simon said due to the vehicle’s size it wasn’t possible to be fully inside the bay, adding: “I know they (UKPC) have a bad reputation, but I will fight the fine.”
The problem these drivers, and others who have been charged, face is that the car park operator UKPC is notoriously hard to get hold of.
When contacted by The Lincolnite in November 2020, and again on October 12 this year regarding Jackie’s fine, they did not issue any response.
In addition, when you try to phone the company and choose from the various different options, an automated voice informs you that it cannot be dealt with on the phone, and appeals must be made in writing.
When Jackie submitted her online appeal, she received an email confirming UKPC had received it and that her charge would be “placed on hold whilst under appeal”. The email cannot be replied to, which again shows how hard the firm makes it to get hold of.
The email also states that UKPC will aim to respond to her by formal letter/email to the address supplied within 35 days.
If you have encountered an issue at this car park, please contact us at [email protected].
Ongoing car park issues
In November 2018, residents said they were planning to boycott the car park after they introduced new £100 fines for “leaving the site”.
Drivers at the time said they had not been warned about the change of rules, except for a small yellow notice on the signs at the car park.
Earlier the same year, in April 2018, it was reported that UK Parking Control was fined almost £6,000 for refusing to provide CCTV footage from a Lincoln car park that would have helped an investigation into fly-tipping.
The car park’s operator UKPC was also embroiled in a scandal in 2015 where drivers appealed against fraudulent parking tickets after revelations from The Lincolnite.
A former warden previously told The Lincolnite in 2015 how attendants were encouraged to ‘bend the rules’ for bonuses.
It is not just a local issue either, with one of many other examples including a man in Maidstone claimed he was given a fine by UKPC for parking outside his own home, according to KentOnline.
A security company manager in the North East was also issued with a £100 fine with claims his car had been parked outside a McDonald’s drive-thru for more than 10 hours, according to the Northern Echo.
The GPS tracking system, however, showed he had actually been driving to various sites around the North East and checking on their security.
If you have encountered an issue at this car park, please contact us at [email protected] with as many details and evidence as possible.