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PARKING PROBLEMS: Bushey residents say private company needs to be challenged

 Published on: 15th February 2024   |   By: Annabel Stock   |   Category: Uncategorized

“It’s the last thing I need,” says a single mother-of-three who is among the many Bushey residents to be slapped with a large fine for parking outside the town’s medical centre.

Dozens of local residents have been ordered to pay between £60 and £100 after parking outside the health centre in what they believed to be a genuine bay.

Bushey Medical Centre is a large site with two GP practices – Attenborough Surgery and Manor View Practice – and a busy pharmacy.

The car park is operated by Private Parking Solutions (PPS), who have been causing deep upset in recent months after repeatedly slapping residents with hefty fines for parking in the same space in the car park.

Residents say the space in question is deceptive because it looks like a parking bay and have described the yellow lines as “misleading, inadequate and unclear”.

One resident, a hairdresser and single mother-of-three, was horrified to return to a £60 parking ticket following a GP appointment.

She said: “I cried when I got it. It was sheer shock and despair at someone banging at the door for money, which, trust me, I just don’t have. The worst part is, I parked in what I thought was a genuine parking bay.”

After speaking to her clients, she found that she was far from alone – dozens of others had also been caught out. Her online appeal to PPS was dismissed and she claims to have been “hounded” ever since for money which she cannot afford to pay.

She also alleges that some residents say they have observed a plain clothes parking attendant standing at a distance and watching as unsuspecting residents park in the location in question. The moment the driver leaves their vehicle, the attendant allegedly then hits them with a ticket.

She said: “I am friends with a receptionist who works for Attenborough Surgery. She told me they get complaints from patients all the time. Some people have been issued fines while sitting in their cars. Even delivery drivers dropping medical supplies have been fined.

“Bushey Medical Centre is for NHS patients in the local community, and I am shocked that this kind of practice is allowed to continue. This is affecting sick, elderly, vulnerable people. When people come to get flu jabs, they must make hundreds of pounds in a day alone.

“PPS have been employed since March 2023. I would like to know how many tickets they have issued since the date I was fined. It’s their responsibility to make it clearer that you’re not allowed to park there, but instead they have realised it’s making them money so are lying in wait and issuing fines.

“It’s extortion and entrapment, and it’s relentless and lawless. Someone is making thousands of pounds and it’s not the NHS.”

Another resident parked for five minutes in the same space in June of last year, and was dismayed to find she had been handed a ticket. What upset her the most, she says, is that the ticket stated that she had parked on a double yellow line, despite the photographs sent as evidence by PPS clearly showing this was not the case. After her appeal was rejected, she stated her desire to go to court over the matter.

She said: “Since then, I have been sent eight letters from Debt Recovery Plus even though I informed them I have requested to go to court. There is no person to liaise with at PPS or a number to call, only an email, and the two emails I sent since the appeal was rejected were not answered. I feel harassed.

“People are paying unfair fines out of fear of escalation, but I haven’t paid it and I’m happy to go to court over this.

“There’s so little parking that people are arriving 40 minutes before their appointment to get a space.”

Earlier this year, plucky pensioner Stanley Luckhurst launched a petition to encourage the government to introduce legislation which would see a crackdown on private parking companies. To view the petition, visit www.change.org/p/last-chance-saloon-fight-the-parking-cowboys

PPS has been contacted for comment.

Have you been handed a fine by PPS for parking in this area? Please email newshub@mynewsmag.co.uk to share your experience.

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