Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Chauffeur’s fury over £150 BP parking fine ... Civil Enforcement at it again

Herts and Essex News

Dad tells of street threats

A ROYSTON chauffeur is “outraged” after receiving a £150 fine for parking at a BP garage.
Colin O’Dell, of Echo Hill, stopped in a designated space for the café while he ate food purchased from the Gatwick North BP Connect garage.
Unaware of the 20- minute limit, Mr O’Dell spent 35 minutes eating his food and drinking a coffee in his Lexus limo.

A month later, he received the £150 fine from BP’s contractors Civil Enforcement Ltd.
Mr O’Dell, of Pinstripe Corporate Travel, said: “They lure you in with their advertising for the Wild Bean Coffee shop, which invites you to ‘chill out’, and they have seating inside.
“I saw no warning sign at the time to tell me I had just 20 minutes to finish a hot coffee and at no point was I warned by staff about this fine.”
In a statement, BP said the 20-minute time limit was clearly displayed on the forecourt, at the café and by the tills.
The company, which announced profits of £11bn earlier this year, said the restrictions were introduced at Gatwick North and South garages to cut congestion as motorists waited to pick-up arriving passengers.
Mr O’Dell said he has no intention of paying up and will appeal against the fine.


alexxxzan said...

I received a £150 parking ticket at the same petrol station. I too was unaware of the regulations here, despite the ticket saying there are prominent notices at the entrance (there are not) and that other notices are placed around the site (there are notices but they are so small that you would have to get out of your car and get right up close to read them). I used the shop and was timed as being there for 41 minutes. Apart from going into the shop i was with the car at all times, no one came to the car or placed a ticket on the car. This is a scam to generate money. If parking is a problem, and i have no doubt it is, then perhaps a payment system should be introduced. My gripe is that the warnings are not clear and that if you are invited to use the facilities and parking is provided then it should be made patently clear what automatically happens if you stay over the alloted time. This is not the case.
To further add to this disgraceful way of making money, Civil Enforcement have no way of contacting them other than writing (which they ignore) and they then proceed to send threatening letters. Needless to say i am going to fight on.

Anonymous said...

You are not alone - check out the news stories on

Angry of London said...

We too are going to fight glad to see I'm not going mad. Funny how they have now put up big yellow signs and changed the time limit to longer.........

Anonymous said...

Hi there

Read your article with great interest. My son who's eighteen has just informed me that he had a letter two weeks ago threatening him with bailiffs if he didn't pay the £100 parking fee he had 'acquired' whilst parking in the BP Gatwick North Petrol Station (letter issued by yes, you've guessed it Civil Enforcement Ltd, Carlton Square, Nottingham.) If he paid within 14 days it was reduced to £50.00!

I feel so angry that he has paid it as he had a genuine problem with his tyre that day (slow puncture). He was intimidated by the threat of the bailiff action and paid the £50 'fine' straight away. Grrrr....

We can not let these people get away with this....

Anonymous said...

I have not been involved with these people but it seems to me that they are 'demanding money with menaces', which is a criminal offence, whilst they are dealing with an alleged civil debt which can only be dealt with at civil court. Perhaps you should report them to the police.

Carol O'Dell said...

I received a ticket from these people whilst parking in McDonalds car park at Gatwick. Myself & my 3 children bought food & drink when exiting I saw the signs stating 30mins parking.Checked my watch on return to the car were we all ate.
The offence took place Dec 2006. I foolishly paid the fine so as not to get it doubled but also appealed against it.
They replied saying they had cancelled my fine.
They cashed my cheque & now 10 months & about 20+ phone calls in which they promised to sent the cheque.I'm still waiting for my 75 pounds back.

Anonymous said...

I recieved a £120 fine for parking where I work. Unfortunately they were unwilling to accept that my car had been replaced and so the database of employees cars hadnt been updated. Furthermore, the letter was recieved AFTER the 14 day limit whereby half the fine can be paid. So the full fine had to be paid. This company is highly unethical and should be closed down.

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