Motorist fined £60 after ‘smart’ parking notice mistakes her car for a moped

Smart Parking, an ironically named parking enforcement company, slapped a motorist with a £60 penalty charge where the photo evidence showed the driver's silver Rover car going into the car park and someone on a moped driving out.

The 'proof' showed the moped driver leaving Hull's Kingston Shopping Centre car park seven hours after Aimee Manston drove her car in for what she said was an hour's shopping trip.

Aimee, from Doncaster, found the gaff "hilarious".

She told Hull Live: "It is my vehicle going in, and a moped coming out seven hours later, with a completely different registration.

"I have appealed it, as there's no way I am paying something that I haven't done.

"I think it's actually hilarious that they got it so wrong, I just laughed when I saw the photograph.

However, Aimee highlighted the fact that similar errors could happen to people who might not pick the mistake up, adding: "But actually there is a real concern that vulnerable people, maybe who don't see too well or might not examine the photographs clearly, could be falling victim to this.

"I am worried that people may be paying these charges wrongly and would urge everyone who gets one to carefully look at the evidence they give."

The fine, which Aimee has formally appealed, requires her to pay the penalty within 20 days, at which point it increases to £100.

Currently she is awaiting further communications from the company, Smart Parking, which has a head office in Birmingham.

Since Smart Parking was hired to enforce parking on site, there have been a number of one-star reviews on review site Parkopedia regarding the company's service.

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Customers have 90 minutes free parking, but many claim they were unaware of any need to pay beyond that time slot and that signage isn't visible enough.

One reviewer posted in September: "Just received a fine, I have shopped here for years with no issue, no signs or payment meters so didn't know there is a parking charge now. Won't be shopping here again."

Another reviewer from September said: "Disgusting just received a £60 fine for parking here.

"Why has no-one ever been told there are now charges? Will definitely not be shopping here again.

"Good luck to the shops because I wont be the first or the last to stop shopping there."

A spokesman for Smart Parking said: "Smart Parking was brought in to manage the car park on Holderness Road to stop parking abuse and ensure motorists can always find somewhere to park.

"The car park is used by thousands of motorists every week, and the vast majority of them do so without any issues. Those who don't follow the terms and conditions of use may be liable for a charge.

"However in this particular case there was human error and the charge has now been cancelled.”

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