BP makes U-turn after dad left in 'shock' over car wash parking fine at busy Northampton petrol station

"I'm genuinely worried bailiffs are going to knock on the door when my four-year-old daughter and partner are at home and I'm out at work."

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 9:23 am

A Northampton dad has described his 'shock' and 'worry' after receiving a parking notice for 'overstaying' the time limit at a petrol station despite attending a busy car wash.

Daniel Heasman, of Kingsthorpe Grove, says bailiffs were chasing him for £170 after overstaying the allotted time at the BP Garage in Abington Avenue while washing his car on August 16.

However, the self-employed glazer paid £10 for a platinum car wash service at the BP Garage kiosk and says he was never made aware there was a time limit in place. There are multiple signs on site but Daniel said he did not see them.

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Daniel Heasman at the BP Garage in Abington Avenue

Then, three months later on Thursday, November 18 Daniel received a letter from Debt Recovery Plus (DRP) demanding £170 and court action for ignoring the previous fine letters - but he says this was the first he had heard of the incident. BP has now began the process to cancel the fine.

Reacting to receiving the letter, the father-of-one said: "I didn't have any sleep and my partner is scared bailiffs are going to be coming round to the house.

"It was just a really deep down shock. Just for washing my car. It really has affected me - I can't stop thinking about it.

"It's depressing.

"I'm genuinely worried bailiffs are going to knock on the door when my four-year-old daughter and partner are at home and I'm out at work."

"Not once did BP say there is a time limit to wash my car."

Daniel went on to explain how he has tried to appeal the fine to DRP.

He said: "When I received the letter I thought it was a scam. It looks like a scam. It just looks bogus.

"I have tried to get hold of DRP but they didn't answer the phone. I was on hold for 45 minutes. I just had to hang up. I went online and the only option was to pay."

Chronicle and Echo found a Google review on the BP Garage also complaining of 'extra parking charges' while using the car wash facilities.

The review reads: "I had a bad experience at this station. I'm always filling up my car there and everything is fine. But on November 3, I washed my car and parked close to the hoovering place for six or seven minutes to get a code for the jet wash.

"Yesterday, I got a parking charge letter saying I parked for 45 minutes, but [during] that time I was on the jet wash and hoovering my car. It's a little bit strange. You go there to wash your car and get extra charge for parking. What is going on?"

However, after Chronicle & Echo contacted BP, the company has since made a request to cancel Daniel's ticket.

A BP spokesman said: "In this instance, I have spoken to our careline who have informed me that Daniel made contact with us a few days ago. They are already requesting it to be cancelled and will get back to Daniel directly.

"All parking contractors that we work with are approved by the British Parking Association (BPA) and are required to meet strict standards which address appropriate levels of charges and behaviours demanded from staff.

"We do kindly ask customers to please address their concerns to the Parking Enforcement Company they have received a letter from as they are equipped with all necessary tools to best investigate the case.

"If they believe the parking charge notice has been issued incorrectly they can make an appeal to Parking On Private Land Appeals (POPLA) which is mentioned on the letter they will have received.

"POPLA is an independent company who will assess the complaint, If the overstay is due to a genuine reason then POPLA will review the claim."

MET Parking - the car park management company responsible for the site - has not responded to this newspaper's request for comment.