Woman fined after queue to leave car park

It took three hours to get out of the car park, earning her a parking fine

Dionne Russell

It's bad enough to be stuck queuing for three hours, simply to get out of a car park. But for Dionne Russell, that was the least of her problems.

Because after the Radford, Coventry shopper was trapped by gridlocked traffic at Coventry's Central Six retail park, she was sent a £70 parking ticket through the post.

Ms Russell, 46, had spent 40 minutes shopping for a few last minute items in preparation for a trip to visit her fiance in Germany. But after roadworks and an accident nearby caused traffic to back up, licence plate recognition cameras clocked that she'd been on the site for more than the permitted three hours.

"In the queue people were trying to force themselves in front of me. In the end I let one in as it was really stressing me out," she tells the Coventry Telegraph.

"I would have been stuck for much longer had the police not took control of the traffic on the main road to let people out."

Dionne Russell

Ms Russell says she plans to contest the fine, adding: "I will never go back to that retail park again. There must be so many people in the same boat."

G24, which issued the ticket, says it can't comment until Ms Russell's appeal comes through.

Parking firms are notorious for issuing unreasonable tickets.
Earlier this year, a student received a parking ticket. after pulling over to help an elderly woman who had collapsed in the street.

Last summer, Nottinghamshire grandmother Janet Gasson issued with a parking fine because her pay-and-display ticket was upside down, and in the autumn a woman was fined for stopping her car during the two minutes' silence on Armistice Day.

Dionne Russell

Parking tickets issued on private land aren't covered by the same rules as council-run car parks, but they do have to abide by certain conditions.

If you want to challenge a ticket, you need to appeal to the car park operator first - and you have to do this within 30 days. You'll need evidence such as photos and your original ticket.

If you're unsuccessful, the car park operator should send you an appeal form containing a verification code which must be sent to the Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) service within 28 days.

However, POPLA won't consider mitigating circumstances when making its decision - simply whether or not the car park operator has broken the BPA's code of practice or breached contract law.

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