Paying the penalty for B&Q visits

A PLUMBER hit with a £110 parking fine claims he has been told he cannot visit his local B&Q twice in the same day.

John Taylor is one of a number of drivers to be sent penalty notices by Parking Eye after the firm said its cameras had caught him staying longer than the permitted three-and-a-half hours at the Hermiston Gait retail park.

But when the 59-year-old called the company to say he had made two separate visits to the store, he claims he was told that there was a "strict no returns rule" which stops motorists returning to the car park twice in the same day.

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The self-employed tradesman, who makes a number of visits to the DIY retailer every week, said he had gone to the store early in the morning and returned in the afternoon to pick up supplies for the following day's work.

But Parking Eye said it had photographic evidence to show his car entering and leaving the car park only once in the day.

The company said it had "clear records" of Mr Taylor making multiple visits to the store on other days, but said it was adamant he had overstayed on the day in question, December 9.

Mr Taylor said: "I'm in that store every other day, but Parking Eye told me there's a 'strict no returns rule'. It was the biggest load of rubbish I've ever heard.

"I see their point about stopping people using the station parking at the shops. That's fair enough, but I'm definitely not paying for a ticket I got for visiting the place to go to B&Q."

Mr Taylor also claimed to have receipts showing he was elsewhere when Parking Eye said his car was parked at Hermiston Gait.

Last week there were calls for the state-of-the-art parking system to be scrapped after a number of drivers came forward claiming to have received tickets in error.

Among them was driver Bill Colborne, who was sent a penalty notice for dropping his daughter off to work at Tesco and collecting her six hours later.

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Parking enforcers thought the 53-year-old had overstayed the maximum wait of three-and-a-half hours after his car was picked up by automatic number plate recognition cameras, when he had in fact made two separate visits to the store.

The car park is monitored by automatic number plate recognition cameras, which were brought in to deal with the problem of people parking in the retail park and then using Edinburgh Park train station or the adjacent business park.

Industry body the British Parking Association defended Parking Eye, saying the company was working within a strict code of practice.

Patrick Troy, the BPA's chief executive, said the organisation fully supported the "legitimacy" of Parking Eye's business practices.

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