A motorist will be one of the first to use a new independent appeals system to fight a “ridiculous” fine from a car park in Perth run by a private company.
Henry Miller will take on Smart Parking under the new Private Land Appeals Service (PoPLA) after being fined for parking at the Kinnoull Street site, with the private company already refusing to overturn the charge through their own in-house appeals process.
PoPLA allows drivers who believe they have been wrongly fined by private car parking companies to challenge the charge through an independent appeals system. Previously, it could only be done by appealing directly to the company concerned.
The system was introduced recently to bring Scotland into line with England and Wales, where it has been used to successfully challenge more than 120,000 penalty charges.
Henry, from East Kilbride, had travelled to the Fair City with his wife Christina on April 13 to watch their granddaughter perform in the National Youth Choir at Perth Theatre.
More than a fortnight later Henry received a fine for £60 from Smart Parking stating he had overstayed his time in the car park by around 20 minutes and the fine would rise to £100 if not paid.
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Henry appealed to Smart Parking, saying he had paid what he was ordered on the pay-on-exit ticket machine but the private parking company refused to overturn the fine.
Mr Miller now intends to use the new PoPLA system that came into effect last week to fight the charge from Smart Parking who have been the subject of hundreds of complaints regarding their Kinnoull Street operation.
Henry said he was very happy to see the new system come into effect.
He said: “I’m in the process of doing it (the appeal) at the moment.
“We’ll just have to see how it goes but I hope we’ll be successful.
“It seems ridiculous that they charge £60 for 20 minutes – the car park was very busy that day and we were on the top level which may have taken the extra time.
“Hundreds of people were driving out, we bought our tickets and just drove out.
“I want to know why I’m having to pay the money – the money was paid for the parking.”
A spokesperson for Smart Parking said that Henry paid for 120 minutes but stayed for 141 minutes.
The spokesperson said: “He (Henry) contested the charge and we refused that and we’re happy with that.”