The other evening I had to attend a meeting at the civic hall in Oldham at 7.00. Now not wanting to be on the last minute I arrived at 6.45 and thought the car park is £1.30 for 5 hours so I purchased ticket for £2.00 because I didn’t have the right amount and the machine didn’t give change.
I didn’t think anything of it and went into my meeting.
You can imagine my surprise when I came back to the car 2 hours later I was greeted with a penalty charge notice for an expired ticket at a cost of £25.00.
So I wrote to them to appeal stating my case that in my mind I had purchased a ticket for parking for up to 5 hours and even overpaid for the seven minutes before the evening parking started privilege. They pointed out that the evening parking doesn’t start till 7.00pm and the machine had given me a ticket for two hours so they obviously declined and give me 14 days to pay.
According to the Oldham Councils Parking department If I had stood and waited till seven o clock I would have got a valid ticket and it wouldn’t have been a problem.
Now I don’t mind being caught if I had not put on a ticket or not parked within the white lines (which has happened in the past) but surely common sense should be applied to these circumstances.
I paid £2.00, £1.30 for five hours parking and 70p for the Seven minutes I had parked before hand. By my calculations if it costs £1.30 for one hour to park then that is 2.1p per minute, so for seven minutes that is a payment of 14.7p which means I overpaid by 55p.
Now the Council are struggling to reinvigorate the night time economy in Oldham and I find it hard to see that happening anytime soon if these draconian actions are taking place on a regular basis.
They need to make it clear on the parking signs that this can happen and show some common sense.
What makes matters worse my appointment was at the Civic Centre , Oldham Council really know how to make visitor’s welcome!