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Beautician appointment lands mother-of-two from East Barnet with £150 fine
A mother-of-two from East Barnet was left shocked when a trip to get her nails done landed her with a £150 parking fine.
Charmaine Parnaby, of Russell Lane, left her car in the short-term car park behind Budgens in the village while she attended her beauty treatment appointment on July 12.
The session overran, meaning she eclipsed the 60 minute limit, but the childminder returned to her vehicle to find no ticket or penalty notice.
Almost two weeks later however, the 43-year-old was stunned to receive a letter ordering her to pay the substantial fine.
She said: “I was shocked. I went to ring them straight away and when there wasn’t a phone number on the sheet I was absolutely enraged.
“It just seems so underhanded. I’ve been parking there for eight years and never had a problem.”
The ticket was issued by Civil Enforcement Ltd, hired by Budgens to regulate the small car park.
The company obtains drivers' details from the DVLA in order to send out the penalty notices, a practise legal in the UK.
Mrs Parnaby believes the fine was excessive for her small parking misdemeanour and believes the potential penalties for overstaying should be better publicised.
She has since revisited the car park and analysed signs she says have been put up since she received the ticket.
She said: “It says you can pay a reduced fine if you contact them from the car park but I didn’t even get a ticket so how would I have known.
“Even when I finally spoke to them on the phone they said it was actually 90 minutes free, not 60 minutes as it says on the sign, so there is a lot of grey areas surrounding it.
“I just want people to know about it so they don’t fall into the same trap.”
Mrs Parnaby says she will not be paying the fine, which would have been reduced to £75 if she had paid within a fortnight.
She said: “I think if more people stand up to them, Budgens might consider changing the way they sort out the car park. It is a lot of money and if people just pay it without asking questions, it will never go away.”