This story in the news today suggests that councils are using car park fines as a “cash cow”. Did anyone ever think that they weren’t?
Last year, I parked in one of the West Bridgford car parks. The ticket machines there used to just print out a ticket when you paid your money, and since you got 2 hours for 50p (later, £1) people were passing them on to each other if they had excess time left. The council didn’t like this one bit, and it introduced new machines where you have to type in the numerical digits of your car’s registration plate just to prevent tickets being transferred.
Anyway, on this particular occasion I accidentally typed “61” instead of “62” when buying my ticket. The fact that the warden had actually seen me pay – I even smiled at him as I passed him (but I won’t be doing that again) – meant nothing. Nor did the fact that I was only away from the car at the bank for about 6 minutes. I was slapped with a ticket which the council refused to overturn on appeal, and which they refused to discuss further (i.e. by ignoring me completely). Even the people who you appeal to after that didn’t respond.
More recently I parked in a council car park in Leeds (just before Christmas when I went to see Status Quo). The park was ANPR-controlled, meaning that they scan your registration as you enter, and confirm it in full at the ticket machine when you pay. I paid using my debit card and was charged £8.50 – the only option available. I was there for just over 4 hours. My bank account was debited two days later. You’d think that would have been the end of it, but no.
Just after Christmas I got a letter informing me of a PCN for “insufficient fee paid”. Since I’m not the registered keeper (I lease the car) the lease agent paid the fine immediately. I am now embroiled in trying to appeal against the fine and get a refund.
What makes this recent case all the more interesting is that on the night of the concert – before I knew any of this was happening – my friend in Leeds told me that his wife had had the exact same fraudulent claim made against her a few weeks earlier in the same car park while she was Christmas shopping. She kicked up a stink and they dropped the claim.
I’m not going to say too much while the appeal is on-going, but if you Google for UKCPS (Car Parking Solutions) a very gothic image starts to emerge of them. Suffice it to say, I only know two people who have used that car park in Leeds, and both have had the same scam pulled on them. So it doesn’t take too much imagination to picture a huge cash cow whereby hundreds of these “fines” are made each day on the premise that 1% of recipients won’t challenge them. And at £60 (going up to £100 if you pay late) a time, the titties on that cash cow up in Leeds must be bloody sore!
Is UKCPS a scam parking operator?
Well, me and my mate’s wife have direct experience of the kind of things they get up to. But take a look at these links:
These are a tiny sample. Try Googling for “UKCPS parking scam” or “UKCPS Ltd parking ticket” and see what you get. There are hundreds and hundreds of people like you who these cretins are trying to intimidate (including disabled people parking in disabled bays that these gutter trash operate). That Responsive link sums it up nicely by pointing out that UKCPS usually backs down at the first appeal – and that’s because they know that they can make money from those who don’t appeal. You don’t need to be a genius to work out if it’s a scam or not.
Is UKCPS a legitimate company?
Unfortunately, yes. However, their business practices appear to be far from legitimate, and councils such as Leeds City Council have washed their hands of the affair to the extent that they are sanctioning this dishonest behaviour.
Note: I eventually got the scumbags to refund the fine.