Chesterfield couple 'didn't leave site' - but still got parking fine at Ravenside Retail Park
A man has told of his anger after he was fined for parking at a Chesterfield shopping hotspot - even though he insists he played by the rules.
Philip Court said he parked in the car park at Ravenside Retail Park on August 1 and went shopping at the site with his wife, Janette.
Four days later, Leeds-based firm UKCPS Ltd, which manages the car park, sent 68-year-old Mr Court a letter headed 'Notice to Keeper'.
The letter, which has been seen by the Derbyshire Times, said he was liable for a parking charge of £100 because he was 'observed leaving the site'.
However, Mr Court is adamant he did not leave the site - and says he has a till receipt to prove he was in Debenhams around the time of the alleged breach of the rules.
Appealing the parking charge, Mr Court told UKCPS Ltd: "The Notice to Keeper does not show me leaving the site. It only shows a parked car and the terms notice on a wall.
"I have a witness who was with me at the time and we both went into Debenhams store on the site shopping. On completing our shopping we returned to the car and left the site.
"The time of issue of the notice was at 9.40am. I have attached a copy of the receipt of a purchase we made at 9.42am."
UKCPS Ltd stated in a subsequent letter to Mr Court that it rejected his appeal.
The letter said: "We have reviewed the case and considered the comments that you have made. This appeal has been considered in conjunction with the evidence gathered and our records show that the parking charge notice (PCN) was correctly issued as your vehicle was parked in breach of the terms and conditions of parking.
"The driver of the vehicle was issued with a parking charge for parking the vehicle and leaving the site. Numerous signs at this site state that parking vehicles and leaving/walking off the site will result in the issue of a parking charge. By parking the vehicle and the driver not remaining on the site the driver contractually agrees to pay a parking charge.
"We are therefore unable to cancel the PCN as it was issued correctly."
Mr Court, of Sandstone Avenue, Walton, told the Derbyshire Times: "We did not leave the site.
"I'm very angry about this.
"I've now lodged an appeal with the Independent Appeals Service - and I'm even willing to take the case to court.
"We've been shopping at Ravenside Retail Park for years but this makes us want to avoid the site in the future."
The Derbyshire Times put the below questions to UKCPS Ltd - but the company failed to respond with answers.
1. Mr Court insists he did not leave the site. Does UKCPS Ltd have video or photographic evidence of him leaving the site?
2. Signs at Ravenside Retail Park state 'the driver of the vehicle must remain on site throughout the entire period of parking'. Is UKCPS Ltd able to state for our readers exactly what it means by 'on site'? Do passengers also need to stay 'on site'?
3. How does UKCPS know that people have left the site? Does it use facial recognition cameras, for example?
The entrance signs at Ravenside Retail Park identify all the businesses at the site, including Debenhams.
Among other things, signs at the car park state: "The driver of the vehicle must remain on site throughout the entire period of parking."
The signs also state that CCTV and ANPR technology 'may be in use' and: "Breach of any term or condition will result in the driver being liable for a parking charge of £100. This is reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days."
A number of residents have previously raised concerns about the car park at Ravenside Retail Park.