Six month farce of parking fee paid by phone at Radlett car park

Newberries Car park in Radlett

Newberries Car park in Radlett - Credit: Archant

A mum, who was issued a parking ticket 60 seconds after she had paid for parking by phone, says she is “shocked” that the council have pursued the matter for six months.

Newberries Car park in Radlett

Newberries Car park in Radlett - Credit: Archant

On March 3, 40-year-old Jenny Pattinson parked in the Newberries car park in Radlett at 1.31pm. Without change and unable to juggle her debit card, her phone, her bag and her three-year-old son, she called her husband, Nick, and asked him to pay for the ticket.

As Jenny left the car park, Nick called the hotline, went through the automated instructions, paid the £1.70 for the ticket and hung up by 1.36pm. A ticket inspector then slapped a fine on Jenny’s windscreen at 1.37pm.

She appealed the decision the following day, which the council refused, saying that although the call had been made prior to the fine being issued, the payment had not been processed for another three minutes.

This payment delay, according to the council, was enough to warrant a £50 Parking Charge Notice (PCN) (reduced to £25 if paid within 14 days).

After months of going backwardsand forwards - during which time Jenny was sent a whacking 65-page document relating to the alleged parking offence complete with photos of the car park, correspondence with a legal firm and print-outs of emails - a parking tribunal last week again ruled in Hertsmere Borough Council’s favour.

She explained: “I am shocked. I am not an activist and I wish I’d just paid it but I think it’s in the public interest to know what their taxes are being spent on.

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“This has been going on for months. They’ve had legal teams working on it - I can’t imagine what this is costing.

“If I had not paid for parking then fair cop. But I did pay. I think their decision [not to uphold the appeal] was wrong and it’s become a real waste of money.”

Hertsmere Borough Council said that because the parking was paid for from a landline phone number it was assumed that she had left the car park without paying, which according to their terms and conditions constitutes a contravention.

Jenny has still not paid the fine and although Hertsmere Council could not say exactly how much the dispute had cost, it is likely many times greater than the £25 fine they are still chasing.

A spokesperson from Hertsmere Borough Council confirmed that a traffic penalty tribunal had rejected the appeal but said that they would be reviewing the decision over the next 14 days before delivering a final decision on the matter.