Firm branded ‘Scrooge’ after Hatfield parking fine in snow

A CAR park maintenance company, which has previously raised the ire of Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps, has been slammed over ticketing a pensioner when a machine was out-of-order.

Lin Britten went to do some shopping at Aldi, in Hatfield, on December 18.

She parked in the Comet Square car park in Tamblin Way, which offers one hour free parking.

But she was unable to get a ticket from the out-of-order machine near to where her car was parked, and because of heavy snow, didn’t want to venture further in the car park to see if another machine was available.

Husband Dave compared parking firm UKPC to “Scrooge at Christmas” because of its decision not to waive a parking ticket, which is set to cost �80, if not paid within 28 days.

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Mr Britten told the WHT: “My wife parked in a space in the Comet Square outside the Aldi Store.

“She walked to the ticket machine, also outside the store, and found it to be out-of-order with a notice on it indicating there were other machines in the car park.

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“As the car park was covered with snow and Ice, and it was snowing, she did not walk around the car park for fear of slipping.”

Mrs Britten, of The Ridgeway, St Albans was in the shop for less than the hour that she would have been allowed to park at the site for free for if she had a ticket.

An email from the company said the matter had been investigated and read: “As per our clients [sic] instructions all vehicles must display a valid permit to park within this area.

“Unfortunately when your vehicle was photographed no permit was being displayed.

“Your vehicle was left unattended on private property, therefore giving you no authorisation to park.”

The company was sent a letter in July 2009, by Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps, who said he was “increasingly concerned” by the way the firm was operating within his constituency.

In the letter, addressed to managing director Rupert Williams, he also lashes the company because he hadn’t “even had the courtesy of a reply”, to “several” letters of complaint he had sent them.

So far the company has not responded to the Welwyn Hatfield Times’s request for a comment.

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