MOTORIST SLAPPED WITH A £90 PARKING FINE AFTER TAKING FAMILY FOR A DRIVE-THRU CORONA VIRUS TEST IN NORTH LONDON
- He drove his family to the car park for a throat and mouth swab last month
- He was sent a fine for using the Edmonton Green Shopping Centre in Enfield
- The site has been one of Barnet Council's testing locations since the start of May
- Car park operator, Highview Parking, said it would cancel any penalty charge notices issued to visitors 'incorrectly'
A 'flabbergasted' motorist has been handed a fine by a private parking firm after being snapped by cameras while taking a drive-thru coronavirus test at a car park in north London last month.
Geoff Pugh, 52, received the £90 penalty charge notice (PCN) from Highview Parking after taking his family for a throat and mouth swab in the car park at Edmonton Green Shopping Centre in Enfield on 7 July.
The site has been been a Covid-19 testing location for front-line workers since the beginning of May and to the general public during the lockdown period.
Fine mess: A motorist who took his family to a registered Covid-19 testing site in north London has been slapped with a £90 fine by the private parking firm that operates the car park
Mr Pugh, a photographer from Stoke Newington, east London, told the PA news agency: 'At first I thought it was just a genuine fine, so I was about to pay it, but when I looked into where it happened and realised what it was, I was flabbergasted.
'I think it's completely ridiculous to charge someone for looking after the health of their family, neighbours and work colleagues.
'I didn't even leave the car the whole time I was there.'
Mr Pugh said he was at the site for 23 minutes with his wife and two children – aged nine and 11 – and followed all of the advice from staff directing him where to go.
His vehicle had been detected by a camera using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) which was situated in the car park and provides a feed to the private parking firm that operates the site.
Mr Pugh, 57, a photographer from Stoke Newington,
said he and his family were in the car park for 23 minutes
to have the tests, but followed
all instructions from members on site
A Highview Parking spokesman said it would cancel any PCNs issued to visitors 'incorrectly'.
The spokesman said: 'The car park terms and conditions and the pay-for-parking system and tariff are set by our client – we do not have any involvement in setting these rules, or indeed when they do or do not charge for parking.
'We cannot confirm whether or not the car park has been repurposed by Enfield Council, just that we have been asked to suspend enforcement activity on specific days and times where they have agreed to provide space for Covid testing.
'However the car park is still being used for retail during this time.
'As these are specific dates, we rely on notification of those dates in advance.
'July 7 was an occasion where we were only notified that the site had been used for Covid testing, more than a week later, and PCNs were already issued.
'We will cancel any PCNs that have been issued to visitors incorrectly on this or any other specified date where testing is taking place.'
The north side car park at Edmonton Green Shopping Centre has been a Barnet Council Covid-19 site since the beginning of May
Signage on entry to the car park states it is a private car park enforced by ANPR cameras. However, it has been a registered testing site in north London for three months and Mr Pugh had followed all of the advice from staff directing him where to go
A new Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019 was created last year and provides a new appeals service would make it easier for drivers to challenge unfair parking charges.
Drivers can currently appeal through the Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) service, provided the issuer of the charge is a member of the BPA.
This is Money launched a campaign against private parking firms in 2018.
Hundreds of readers responded with tales of their own unfair charges, and we also reported on the Basildon car park which led to so many shoppers being landed with fines that it spawned its own dedicated Facebook group with 5,000 members.
Our campaign has been backed by AA president Edmund King, who wrote to the Transport Secretary in 2018 calling for government intervention to 'restore the principle of deterrence in the enforcement of parking and moving traffic offences – instead of the harvesting of charges at every opportunity.'
CREDIT: THE MAIL