Complaints over parking confusion at St Albans City station

St Albans City station car park

St Albans City station car park - Credit: Archant

Parking in a bay which he genuinely did not realise was reserved has landed a frustrated St Albans man with a fine.

Anthony Thomas, of Gurney Court Road, went into the St Albans City Station car park on the May Bank Holiday Monday and because it was so quiet, he parked where there was little risk of his car being damaged.

He paid £3 for his ticket but when he got back in the early evening, he found his car on its own in the car park and with a penalty notice on it.

Anthony questioned someone in the car park about why he had a ticket and was told that he had parked in a reserved zone. He then noticed that on the floor there were yellow marks with reserved parking on them but there was no sign on the adjacent pillar.

“It looked like a walkway with a dirty yellow line and others had individual white markers on them. I appealed to APCOA and apologised saying I had made a genuine mistake and I wouldn’t have parked somewhere reserved if I had known.”

But even though he had proof that he had paid, his appeal was unsuccessful and he was left with no option other than to pay the fine before it increased to £85.

Anthony said that the other reserved bays had a big white sign on them so it was obvious to everyone: “If I had known it was a reserved bay I wouldn’t have parked on it. There were plenty of other spaces available.”

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A spokesman for FCC which owns the car park said: “Having reviewed Mr Thomas’ case, he was parked in a clearly marked premier parking bay without a valid ticket.

“Premier parking bays allow customers to reserve a parking space close to the station building for a small premium. These bays are marked out with yellow lines and have the letter ‘P’ next to them.”

He added that although the appeal was turned down Anthony could make a further appeal to ‘Parking On Private Lands Appeals’ (POPLA).