Dementia carer '˜delighted' at victory over '˜unjust' Pompey Centre parking fine

A CARER is '˜delighted' after securing a hard-fought victory in a months-long parking dispute.

Tuesday, 10th April 2018, 7:00 am
Claire Beadnell in the car park at the Pompey Centre, Fratton Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Claire Beadnell will no longer be expected to fork out for the £100 fine she was slapped with at The Pompey Centre, following a trip to B&Q with her mother-in-law, who has dementia, in November.

The 46-year-old from Southsea was hit with the penalty after unknowingly outstaying the Fratton Way retail park’s one-hour-only policy for Pompey match days.

But having spent nearly £200 at B&Q on the day, she called the fee ‘unjust’ and filed a Parking on Private Land Appeal (Popla) with the Ombudsman.

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A sign in the B&Q car park at the Pompey Centre, Fratton Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Depite that claim getting rejected, the cash sanction has now been lifted by The Pompey Centre and Premier Park Ltd – which manages the site’s parking – after a frustrating five-month battle.

Ms Beadnell said: ‘I’m delighted. There was no way I was going to pay a fine for parking outside a shop I just spent £194 in.

‘When the Ombusdman rejected my initial claim, I thought “this is so wrong”.

‘I went to The Sellar Property Group, which I found out owns the park itself, but after a couple of weeks I hadn’t heard anything back from them.

A sign in the B&Q car park at the Pompey Centre, Fratton Picture: Chris Moorhouse

‘Finally, when I went to check the fine online it said it had been paid.’

Having visited The Pompey Centre in the past, Ms Beadnell had never been caught out by the match-day policy before.

As is displayed on permanent signs at the site, parking is normally limited to a two-hour stay – but match-day rules stand three hours before and two hours after kick-off.

Following her experience of falling foul of the guidelines, Ms Beadnell is now calling on fellow shoppers to make sure they know the rules before parking at the destination.

She said: ‘Nobody I know knew you can only park there for an hour on match days – it is sneaky.

‘I was angry and shocked when I found out by getting a fine and I want the people of Portsmouth to know there is a time limit.’

After considering Ms Beadnell’s complaint, it was The Pompey Centre that wrote off the £100 fine. David Deacon, centre manager, said: ‘Unfortunately, we have to have parking regulations like this to stop people abusing the system and using the site for other purposes – like walking down to the train station.

‘But if people contact us, we can consider zapping their fine if they have a valid reason.

‘As landlords we decided to cancel Ms Beadnell’s penalty when she got in touch and explained her situation.’

While the site acted on Ms Beadnell’s complaint, it maintained its signage was sufficient.

Mr Deacon added: ‘There are signs all over the site.

‘Customers who think they may stay longer than an hour can also register this with the stores.’