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!