Home   Dartford   News   Article

People receiving parking fines in The Priory Centre in Dartford despite getting tickets

A new ticket system means people are being issued parking charge notices for using a car park, despite having paid to use it.

Several people say they have been issued with £100 parking charge notices (PCNs) at The Priory Centre car park in Dartford as a result of the new system in place.

The Priory Centre car park in Dartford where people have been receiving £100 fines
The Priory Centre car park in Dartford where people have been receiving £100 fines

The old system required people to pay when they left the car park for the length of time they stayed. Now, you have to pay for a set amount of time.

Priory Centre manager Rob Burdett previously said where possible they are being "understanding during this transition period to customers who may not have been aware of the changes."

Teena Catt, who lives in Dartford, parked in the car park at the start of July when she went to get her nails done before her holiday.

She claims that she paid for a ticket, however a few weeks later she received a £100 fine which will be reduced to £60 if paid in the first 14 days.

"I have filled in their online appeal and have to wait for a reply", she said.

Several people have been issued with PCNs
Several people have been issued with PCNs

"The machines either don't work or won't take cash, and they issue fines without clear warning. I won't go in there again."

"Lots of people have been caught out."

The car park is frequently used by Sainsbury's customers as there's a branch inside the centre, and shoppers are able to claim their Priory parking money back if they spend a minimum of £10.

But many claim that they would rather shop elsewhere than have to comply with the new regulations.

The car park was formerly run by Apcoa, but after they stopped managing it a new system had to be installed. This system has been live since the beginning of May 2022 with a further four payment machines being added at the start of June.

Parking charge slip (58246206)
Parking charge slip (58246206)

There was outrage initially from Blue Badge holders who were previously able to park for free in the Priory Centre, but now have to pay.

Linda Hammond, who is registered as disabled and has a Blue Badge said: "It is quite impossible to drive round, find a space, park up, get my mobility scooter out of the boot and assemble it, get to the lifts, go down and then maybe queue to get a ticket - all within the 5 minutes allowed."

There are a limited number of disabled bays in the car park, which means that some people may have to park further away from the machines, increasing the length of the ticket-buying process for them.

The 56-year-old said: "When we did park there my daughter had to go down and purchase the ticket and come back up to sort my scooter.

"You have to return to the car and hopefully leave enough time to disassemble the scooter, fit it in the car and drive out the car park before the ticket runs out.

"A better idea in other areas is to take a ticket when you enter the car park and pay when you want to leave, this system worked in The Priory before so why change it?"

Linda Hammond, blue badge holder who won't park in the Priory car park anymore
Linda Hammond, blue badge holder who won't park in the Priory car park anymore

The parking sign states the parking period 'commences 5 minutes after entry' and that if this is not complied with then a £100 PCN will be issued. Charges start at £1.50 for a single hour, and go up to £15 for the entire day.

Linda said: "If I were on my own I wouldn't be able to get to the machine in the surface car park in 5 minutes. I can walk but short distances and slowly due to pain.

"It is also too stressful to keep clock watching and doing everything in the time allocated. It is the nearest car park to my GP surgery and I'm not sure if an hour would be long enough to wait, see the doctor, and go to the chemist to get my meds and would I would need to pay £3.

"My local bus route is being axed in October and the new company will only run the bus every hour. I feel like I want to boycott Dartford completely.

"I think it will kill trade in The Priory Centre - people will go to Lidl and to the shops in The Orchard Centre more."

The Priory Centre declined to comment at this time.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More