Motorist angry over £100 'fine' at Ipswich car park

Cardinal Park

Ms Cossey was parked in Cardinal Park in Ipswich. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

A Suffolk motorist is contesting a £100 bill after she entered the wrong number plate into a machine when using the car park at Cardinal Park in Ipswich.

Charlotte Cossey, whose family home is in Saxmundham, had borrowed her mother's car to visit Ipswich in September and bought two hours of parking at Cardinal Park.

However she entered an incorrect registration number when buying the ticket and the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras that cover the car park did not recognise the vehicle when she arrived or left and sent out a penalty notice demanding a fee of £100.

Ms Cossey appealed the fine, saying in her letter: "Once the ticket was purchased, I realised the machine had only entered the letters ‘FP’ instead of my full registration plate.

"However, since the machine did not notify me at the time and took the payment from me, I assumed this was still ok and to be accepted because I had paid my monies."

She put a pay and display ticket on her windscreen and wrote her number plate on. During the appeal she produced details of her bank statement to show she had paid.

The appeal was rejected by car park operators Euro Car Parks, but they did reduce the fee from £100 to a £20 administration charge - however Ms Cossey, who works for legal firm, decided to continue contesting the payment.

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She said: "I am unhappy with how my case has been handled. My concern is the number of other people who have also been subjected to a £100 or other parking fine whilst remaining innocent and have not had the means, help or courage to dispute it."

She felt the charge was morally unfair and would continue to challenge it until ECP recognised her innocence.

In its letter to Ms Cossey, ECP said the terms and conditions were clear on the signs in the car park and these explained that it was enforced by attendants or the ANPR cameras that recorded the number plates of vehicles.

It described Ms Cossey's problem as a "Major Keying Error" and said that the parking charge notice was issued correctly to her.