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Ashford: NCP car park firm apologises after shopper incorrectly fined £100

By Dan Wright

Car park managers have apologised for fining a shopper £100 – even though she returned to her car more than 15 minutes before her ticket was due to expire.

Shocked Charing resident Teresa Walker parked her Ford Fiesta in the NCP-run Park Mall multistorey with her partner Brian Boylan.

She paid £1.30 to leave her car for an hour and left the site well within the time limit, but was later fined £100 for overstaying the limit.

Couple Brian Boylan and Teresa Walker were fined £100. Picture: Chris Davey
Couple Brian Boylan and Teresa Walker were fined £100. Picture: Chris Davey

“I honestly didn’t believe it,” said Mr Boylan, who is now retired but used to work for Southern Water.

“When Teresa said we had been given a £100 fine, I knew immediately we hadn’t been over the hour as we never are.

“It was dead lucky we had kept the ticket otherwise we wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on.”

The ticket and fine the pair received. Picture: Chris Davey
The ticket and fine the pair received. Picture: Chris Davey

The pair, who had paid to shop in the town last month, appealed to NCP after receiving the fine.

“It was a complete joke,” Mr Boylan added. “Now this has happened, it shows people need to keep hold of their tickets as my partner was absolutely livid.

“We are just one family, but there may have been hundreds of other people who were incorrectly fined.”

The NCP car park in Ashford
The NCP car park in Ashford

NCP spokesman Michelle McCarthy apologised to the couple, and rescinded the fine.

She said: “We immediately investigated the matter as we have not had this issue before, and we could see that there was no payment associated with the vehicle, which was why a parking charge notice was issued.

“We have checked the data and can now see that at the time the customer paid for her parking the machine had a technical fault and no payment was recognised.

“As the machine completely disconnected we have no data on that machine for that time period, and so it was this customer and her appeal that highlighted the issue to us.

“We are determined to understand how this technical fault occurred, and reassure all our customers that we monitor appeals very carefully to check for any unusual system errors that would be highlighted by our appeals process.”

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