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Co-op parking

From Dave H

Friday, 13 February 2015

Just a word of warning about the co-op car park. I may be slow on the uptake here, but the system for parking at the co-op has changed. There are signs up, but they are in the same place at the previous signs, so short of reading the signs word for word each time you do your shopping, it's hard to spot the change.

The new system is that you get a (free) ticket and display it in your car. That gives you one hour. You can chose to pay £1 and that gives you two hours. If you do not display a ticket, you get a £70 fine payable to Horizon Parking, Chelmsford (50% off if you cough up quickly).

I spoke to the manager at the co-op, who was as helpful as he could be, but explained it is a third party so they have no control over fines, appeals etc. I challenged the fine, and sent them a copy of my co-op receipt, and to be fair "...on this occasion etc" they cancelled the fine.

I fell into the trap of doing what I've done for years and simply parking up and going into the shop - and apparently many many more people have done the same. Be warned.

From Alan B

Friday, 13 February 2015

This type of parking "fines"by private companies are not the same as parking fines from the traffic wardens, in that you don't have to pay them.

They buy your details from the DVLA then just send out official looking letters in the hope you will pay up, offering discounts for early payment, threatening to take you to court etc but in truth they darn't take anybody to court because you don't have a legal contract with them partially because although they can find out who the keeper of the vehicle is, that isn't necessarily the same person who parked the car in their car-park.

From Anne H

Saturday, 14 February 2015

In defence of the Co-op, this seems a very fair system for a small car park in a very busy town, where the main users are customers of the Co-op. The first hour is free! The second hour is also free if you buy £10 worth of shopping at the Co-op. i.e. it is free to shop at the Co-op.

If you want to park there but not use the Co-op, it's still free for an hour - that's great isn't it! But there has to be a limit, so to discourage people from staying longer - and to free up spaces for their own customers - you can't stay longer than 2 hours.

People will get caught out if they don't read the signs carefully, but that applies to everywhere you park.

As for whether a private company can enforce the fines, I don't intend finding out (why risk it when it's free anyway!).

I think the only alternative would be to have a ticket machine at the entrance, so you couldn't enter without a ticket (free or otherwise). No doubt this would cost more and the price of parking would go up - and I doubt if there's room to install such a system, delivery lorries would not be able to get in, and there would be problems of queuing out onto the main road.

From Alan B

Saturday, 14 February 2015

For anybody interested there is a lot on the web about these private parking enforcement companies. Try Googling 'Parking cowboys', 'Parking prankster', 'Pepipoo'. The money saving expert also has a thread on the subject. Apparently two thirds of people pay up on the first letter. These companies are making millions out of people's ignorance and fear.

From Andy M

Sunday, 15 February 2015

You may not have to pay these companies but why would you want to abuse the Co-op's parking facility in the first place?