Innocent motorists are given ‘unfair’ fines by confusing parking apps
- More than 1/6 motorists who had used a parking app said they were ‘not user-friendly’
- One in 20 claimed they were later fined – even though they thought they had paid
Motorists are given ‘unfair’ fines after using confusing parking apps.
Drivers say they get penalized for real mistakes, while others can’t pay if an app crashes.
But parking companies do not have to waive fines for those who make innocent mistakes.
And even those who successfully appeal are forced to fill out time-consuming forms or take their case to court.
A Daily Mail poll found just over one in six motorists who had used a parking app said they were ‘not user friendly’.
Parking meters are disappearing from British streets as operators prefer smartphone applications
And one in 20 later claimed to have been fined despite believing they had paid for parking through an app, Consumer Intelligence researchers said.
It comes after the Mail revealed that millions met their lives in ‘parking meter deserts’ – and several local authorities have already scrapped the machines.
Michael Gove, Secretary of Leveling Up, wrote to municipalities last week to warn them that it is unfair to force motorists to use smartphones to pay for parking.
Appeals against fines referring to “parking app” and “mobile” are on the rise, according to the Parking on Private Land Appeals service. About 1,397 of these cases were recorded in the year to the end of March – with just under one in five in favor of the motorist.
Caroline Hamilton, chief adjudicator of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal – a service that handles fines issued by councils – said entering the wrong registration and selecting the wrong car park app were among the most common mistakes made.
“These are mistakes easily made by busy motorists,” Ms Hamilton added. She also pointed out that this was not a reason to appeal to an arbitrator.
Wendy Doel, 71, was fined last July after parking to catch a train at Fleet station, Hampshire.
She got on the train and thought she had created an account with RingGo, but when she tried to pay, the app gave an error.
An automated customer service message said her account was suspended due to a failed payment. Weeks later, Mrs. Doel was fined £50 by Apcoa, the firm that managed the car park, which was later waived.
A RingGo spokesperson said: “Mistakes happen, so RingGo…provides drivers with a grace period to correct their registration details after they pay.” Apcoa said it was completely separate from the RingGo app.