A Northampton man has slammed a car parking company that fined him after his car broke down following a shopping trip, which meant he overstayed the free parking limit as he had to get home to his ill wife rather than wait for a mechanic.
Peter Marshall, who lives in Kingsley, visited the car park in Octagon Way, Weston Favell on September 9, this year at around 11.15am.
The car park, operated by Euro Car Parks, serves the retail park where Mandarin, a number of charity shops and a pet shop are located. Parking is free for two hours.
Peter says he was parked for around ten minutes before he returned to his car, with the intention to leave and drive home. However, his vehicle would not start.
The 87-year-old called his usual mechanic company, but they were unable to assist immediately. He then began to panic as he is the sole, full-time carer for his 89-year-old wife who has severe dementia.
Peter said: “I couldn’t stay there and wait for another mechanic because that would have been hours and my wife can’t be left for hours.
“So I used my bus pass to get to the town centre and then I went to Bounds to get a taxi home.
“I couldn’t leave my wife for any longer as I never know what I could come home to.
“I then organised for another mechanic to pick me up.”
Peter and the mechanic arrived back at the car park at around 3pm - just under four hours after he initially parked there.
The car was jump-started and Peter drove off, but weeks later he was greeted with a PCN fine of £60 for overstaying the free parking limit.
The former engineer and RAF serviceman subsequently went through the appeal process explaining the unfortunate situation, which was out of his control, but he received further communication to say after ‘careful consideration’ the appeal had been rejected.
Peter added: “Within 24 hours of receiving the parking notice, I had sent Euro Car Parks every detail possible about the incident.
“It was an awful situation I was in, I felt helpless and I was desperate to get home to my wife.
“Now I’m being fined £60 for my car being stuck - it’s despicable.
“We both worked hard and this is what our retirement has come to.
“It’s disgusting but I’m not going to give up. Once I get my teeth into something, I will not let go.”
Mr Marshall says he is hoping to speak to his MP, Michael Ellis, about the issue and he is also considering asking the Air Force Association for help as he feels the fine is unfair given the circumstances.
Chronicle & Echo has made several attempts to contact Euro Car Parks since Monday (October 25) for comment about the incident and subsequent appeal, but no response has been received.