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Swindon Borough Council - Parking Release Fee £60 Per car

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After a bit of advice. 

 

I overstayed the opening times of a car park near me.

I was in the wrong and hold my hand up.

 

I called the out of hours number and I was told that it was £60 to release my car.

Bit steep, but you know they have to send someone out to open it up etc. 

 

whilst waiting for them arrive another chap and his family turned up and said that they had over stayed as well.

Eventually the Security Guard turned up and said that it would be £60 each to release two cars. 

 

We both argued the case, however the security guard insisted that it was £60 per car. 

 

we paid the £120 to release both cars and walked to the ramp to get our cars released.

When we arrived at the gate, there was a Third man and his family parked at the gate (how he got in the car park I will never know!)

the security guard refused to open the gate until he had also paid £60.

 

eventually he agreed to pay the £60.

In receipt of £180 he opened the gates. 

 

The whole left a bitter taste in my mouth and it felt that every driver had to pay a penalty. 

 

On exiting i confirmed it said that it would be a £60 release fee opposed to a £60 penalty.

I confirmed this by reading a statement that says that any car parking outside a marked bay would receive a £70 penalty. 

Is there any recourse to make a complaint?

 

I personally feel the £60 was a penalty and not a justifiable cost for being released if it was chargeable to all 3 cars.

After all there was no additional work for the security guard to do except open and then lock the gate. 

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Hi.

 

Can you tell us which council runs this car park please? I don't profess to be an expert but your story sounds unusual.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Oh right, thank you.

 

We have people here who understand local authority parking rules, hopefully they'll be along soon. I'm sorry I can't help.

 

In case it helps, are there any signs in this car park that warn you about the charges that you were subject to?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi Honeybee13,

 

Yes there are. And if I had been on my own I would not have had a problem. However charging 3x the release fee and refusing to let the rest of us out until everyone has paid just doesn’t sit right. 

 

Thanks 

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I think the system is not as straight forward as you may think. Let's say that to employ staff, pay for desk space, make site visits and open cases on the computer system, it costs the council £60,000 per year. And let's say 1,000 cars need releasing every year. They would set the charge per car at £60, to cover the cost.

 

This doesn't represent what you personally cost them on a given day - it's just a fee per driver/car for having caused them to take action on it. Sometimes they will spend less, sometimes more.

 

They next guy might make multiple complaints, insist on a meeting with managers, involve his MP and the ombudsman, make FoI requests, demand reviews of footage and copies of evidence, and so on, and cost them considerably more than you did.

 

Who picks up the slack? Everyone. The costs of administering the system are averaged out.

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I sometimes travel by train. I pay a fare for my travel. If other people use the train they pay the same fare as I do as it is the prescribed fee and that wont change regardless of whether I have a carriage all to myself or am left standing  due to overcrowding.

If the council told you that the release fee was £60 but if no-one esle needed letting out it would treble to £180 to pay for the overall cost of runnig a service would you be happier? As they didnt make up the amount on the spur of the moment and it is advertised somewhere then it is what it is and if you dont agree to pay you come back the next day and collect your vehicle when the car park is open . By them you will have incurred a proper PCN

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