Parking fines scrapped by investigation

Westhill
Westhill

A car park management company has agreed to refund and cancel more than £10,000 in incorrectly issued parking charge notices.

It follows an investigation by Aberdeenshire Council’s Trading Standards Service into notices issed at a private car park in Westhill.

The parking firm issued more than 300 notices to consumers said to have breached terms and conditions in place at the site between September and December 2014.

Confusion arose because, although there was an agreement in place between the parking firm and the landowner for the provision of parking management services, a nearby restaurant offered unlimited free parking for customers at the same car park.

In a number of cases restaurant customers were incorrectly sent parking charge notices.

The company accepted it had no legal right to issue the notices and immediately agreed to cancel any incorrectly issued.

Because of the difficulty in identifying those affected, the parking firm decided to refund all paid, and cancel any outstanding, notices issued between September and December 2014, which had not already been subject to unsuccessful appeals.

This meant around 136 paid parking charge notices worth around £5500 were refunded and 150 outstanding notices worth £5940 were cancelled.

The parking firm, which co-operated fully with the investigation, agreed to continue to work with Trading Standards and the restaurant to ensure the mistake doesn’t happen again.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Trading Standards Manager, Wilma Urquhart, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to remind all consumers of their rights in relation to parking on private land operated by private parking companies and the subsequent issuing of parking charge notices.

“Full information can be found on our website – it is important to note this advice only applies in the case of private car parks and not to parking tickets issued by local authorities or the police.”

For further information on this or any other consumer issue, please contact Trading Standards on 01467 628323 or send an email to trading.standards@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.