Motorist tells others to '˜put up a fight' after unfair fine

A motorist who successfully appealed against an unfair parking fine is trying to encourage others to do the same.

Wednesday, 18th October 2017, 4:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:00 am
Richard Latter. Picture: Steve Robards

Richard Latter, 71, of North Lane, Rustington, received a £50 fine after parking in the Montague Centre Car Park in Liverpool Gardens, Worthing, on July 31.

He told the Herald and Gazette both ticket machines were out of order and he and a number of others were unable to pay.

He sent photographic evidence to CP Plus, which runs the car park, but despite this he still received a fine.

The 71-year-old is another in a long line of motorists to complain to the Herald and Gazette about the car park, and is urging others to ‘put up a fight’ like he did.

He said: “I am very pleased my appeal has been successful. I was hopeful for that result but you never know because they make it very difficult, but you have to keep fighting.

“They are sharp and a lot elderly people will not fight this. You can never get through to them on the phone and a lot of older people don’t use computers. They are making it difficult for anyone to chase them.

“I did everything I could to fight it as I had heard so many stories about this car park.

“When the fine came through, I thought you must be joking when the machines wern’t working and I sent them photos.

“It tells you to pay £50 or it will go up to £90. People worry about it going up to £90 so they just end up paying the £50.

“I believe people who use this car park are not doing anything to get out of paying and people should put up a fight like I did.”

Richard’s appeal was refused by CP Plus, which led him to appeal further with POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals) who then accepted his case and waived the fine.

“CP Plus sent me a second letter which included red words telling me I must pay it otherwise further action would be taken – it is threatening and bullying,” said Richard.

“They are trying to make money out of honest people. I have used the car park before and I know the system and I know how to pay – I am not the type of person who trys to not pay things.

“I rang them that day and was told they were aware that the machines were out of order, and I offered to pay over the phone but they said they could not do that and told me not to worry and that there would be no charge – yet I still got a fine.”

A CP Plus spokesman said: “Following these calls, the local manager visited the site and cleared the faults that we believe to be caused by vandalism and people shoving things into the coin slots.

“When we are informed of these things they are dealt with immediately.

“There is a facility to pay by phone if the machines are not working and also to pay online after the event up until midnight on the day of parking.

“With regards to people paying several times, this is not possible for the same vehicle as the machine recognises the VRM and payment and then closes the transaction meaning you cannot pay again for the same event.

“Of course, if people have proof that they paid several times, we will offer them a refund if they write to us at [email protected] and provide the evidence.”