A little lesson in forgetfulness …

So today I received a £100 car parking fine. Mea culpa. But behind every fine is a story. Alas, not grounds for appeal but a story nonetheless.

I go to Birmingham to visit my Dad. He has advanced dementia so I visit quite regularly.

As I have to drive 60 miles to my nearest mainline railway station, it is understandable that on arrival I need the loo. Off I dash, thinking I’ll pay the parking afterwards. I always pay the parking at Tiverton Parkway despite it being excessive (daily rate £6.90). Now the ticket machines have gone, you have to pay by app.

Then I realise I need to collect the tickets I bought online (get e-tickets in future) and the ticket machine isn’t playing. Mess around and eventually get them.

By now it is time for my train. I forget to pay to park.

2 days later when I return, I realise I haven’t paid. I try to pay using the app, but it will not let me pay for 2 days of retrospective parking only for 2 days in advance. This is no use. I give up.

Drive 60 miles home.

A month later receive a parking fine for £100. Now,  they are not wrong, I did not pay. I tried to pay but their technology would not allow me to. I’m still willing to pay with a bit more added on besides, but it seems excessive.

If I pay within 14 days I get a 50% discount for being a good girl. This reduces it to £50, still way over the odds. My irritation shows as I decide not to pay online, but to send them a good, old-fashioned cheque. The envelope bears no resemblance to my normal writing.

If I ever win a lot of money (fat chance) remind me to buy some land near a railway station and create a car park. Indeed, in my dreams, I live within walking distance of a railway station, a proper one that links to the main line.

A little morality tale for us all. Don’t forget to pay for your parking … because otherwise, you pay well over the odds!


  • Avatar Tony says:

    I remember driving to London shortly after the congestion charge was introduced. I had no idea how it worked just I had to pay a charge. Having been busy all day, I drove home, arriving about 11pm. The following morning I went on line to pay to find that I couldn’t. I called the number to be told that you can only pay in advance or on the day and that I would be charged a fine of £60. I could appeal but if I lost it would be £100. I don’t mind paying these fees but there are times where I feel that we are being legally scammed. It would be interesting to know how many people, who intend to pay, are charged through a genuine error that cannot be taken into account.

  • Avatar Kathy says:

    About 20 years ago we drove down to Bude on holiday. We parked in Crooklets car park. I bought a ticket and popped it in my purse while I made a dash for the toilets. Forgot to put it in the windscreen. Several hours later we came off the beach to find a parking fine on the car. I wrote a letter straight away enclosing the ticket and got a nice letter back accepting my explanation and wishing us a happy holiday. Those were the good old days.

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