Doctor’s appointment cost me £22 to park

On Tuesday, April 21st, I had a doctors appointment. I arrived early and parked on the car park next to the doctors.

Wednesday, 20th May 2015, 6:40 pm

I, as always, followed the instructions and paid at the machine. When no ticket was issued I repeated the process. Other people were having similar problems. I read the information board which advised contacting the vehicle enforcement agency. I left my number, but no one returned my call.

Worried that leaving the car park would mean I received a fine for non-payment, I noticed a Park and Pay facility. I rang this number and followed all of the instructions to pay by card.

Worried on returning home that the payment may not have gone through, I e-mailed both companies without a response.

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On Tuesday, April 28th, the enforcement agency contacted me. I explained the situation and that no payment had been taken from my card. I was advised the likely outcome would be a £100 fine for non-payment of charges. They gave me the number of park and pay. They acknowledged I had telephoned at 10-07 am, but the payment for an unknown reason had not been taken. They said I should expect a fine.

I then spoke to the enforcement agency again. They then advised I should pay them £20 by debit card and this would avoid the £100 fine. I asked whether, if I waited to see if the fine arrived, would I still have this option? But I was told no, I wouldn’t, when the fine arrived the full amount would need to be paid and would increase if I did not comply immediately. I felt I had no option but to pay.

I am concerned that although I did my best to stay within the law, and parking without adding to the congestion in Whalley, that this has resulted in my 20-minute appointment costing me £22.

If others could be warned through your newspaper I would be grateful as the whole experience has been distressing and extremely time-consuming.

Mrs Linda Barrett