I drove through a car park for 13 minutes then realised I couldn't pay over a glitch – now I've been fined £100 | The Sun
A FURIOUS motorist was handed a £100 fine despite spending just 13 MINUTES in a car park.
Karl Bracken found himself in a war with parking firm Excel after spending only 13 minutes in a car park and leaving when a glitch meant he couldn't pay for a ticket.
The 19-year-old arrived at the Feethams Leisure Car Park in Darlington with his brother, and claimed it took a while to find a space.
Mr Bracken told The Northern Echo: “It took me a few minutes to get to a bay because there were people pulling in and out in front of me.
"I didn’t have any change so went to pay online but it wouldn’t take the payment.
“I thought it’d be easier to just go and park somewhere else, which we did, but three weeks later I got a letter saying I’d been fined £100 because I was there longer than the five minutes they give you to pay after entering the carpark.”
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The frustrated motorist's mother, Vikki Bracken, stood by her son's side in his appeal against Excel Parking – who refuse to back down on the penalty.
The former nurse said: "It's unfair – I don’t understand how they can fine him when he tried to pay and left when he realised he couldn’t. He did the honest thing and parked somewhere else.
“If it’s really busy it could take anyone more than five minutes to get parked up and go to pay.
“Karl has autism and struggles reading so it probably took him longer than some people to read the signs on how to pay.
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"Companies are meant to make reasonable adjustments for anyone with a disability like giving more time but Excel just totally ignored our point.”
Excel sent a letter to the Brackens which read: “Having considered the points you have raised and reviewed our records, we are unable to accept your appeal.”
Despite the fact that Mr Bracken is physically fit, the firm also included in their response a reference to disabled parking bays and lower payment machines to meet requirements under the Equalities Act.
Vikki added: “Karl’s physically fit so none of the adjustments they talk about are going to be any help to him.”
Just a few months later in Lancashire, a gran was also slapped with a "ridiculous" £100 fine.
Sandra Smith had parked outside a pub for an hour and a half but the parking meter was obscured by scaffolding.
Later she received a £60 parking fine in the post from Euro Car Parks which will increase by £40 if her appeal is unsuccessful.
Sandra told Lancs Live: "For what I could see, there wasn't any signs telling you of the rules that were noticeable.
"There's scaffolding outside too, which covers the parking meter, so it isn't at all obvious it's there.
“I went back through to the Wacky Warehouse and there was an A-Frame in the lobby telling you about registering for free parking, but I'm convinced it was not there when I visited."
In South East London, a parking warden was seen smashing into a builder's van in a panic after being spotted parking illegally himself.
Martin Lancaster was taking measurements for a chain-link fence in a car park after a funeral home complained drivers were using it illegally.
However, he then noticed a car with two parking wardens inside and the builder told them it was a private car park.
He told The Sun: "A guy got out with a lady and I said this is private property you're not allowed to park there.
"They ignored me, walked off and walked over the road."
In "disbelief", Martin followed them across the road into Bexley Council's parking enforcement building but says he was told to wait outside.
He retuned to his van and moved it to stop the warden leaving, adding: "He came out, mouthed a few things, I can't remember what it was.
"He got in his vehicle and he's hit my van! You can see the line of white paint on his vehicle."
In shocking footage of the "intimidating" incident the alleged warden stands in silence while another smirks as he puffs away on a vape.
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