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Athena parking notice - any advice?

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Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum.


I've just discovered that my elderly father has been sitting on a few parking notice letters from a company called Athena, for parking 15 minutes over the allotted 90 minutes allowed at that store (unfortunately dad was unaware it was 90 minutes). He has been fretting over these fines and is worried about what to do.


Basically, he and my mum shop every week in one of our local Lidl stores. In October they went to this store and spent nearly £70. Mum has a blue badge due to poor mobility and she also has Alzheimer's. 


Obviously, with mums health issues it isn't a five minute job to go shopping with her and apparently on that day mum came over a bit funny as she hadn't eaten, so they also got some sandwiches with their shopping and ate them in the car which probably pushed them over the allowed time scale.


Dad is fretting over this and says he should just pay the fine but it seems unfair to me that they had genuinely shopped in that store and are regular shoppers there and the fact mum has poor mobility and dementia.


I've contacted Lidl but they are not interested and say I should contact Athena but a quick look online shows they seem like an uncaring, money grabbing company and I am concerned we won't get anywhere with them.


Has anyone had any experience with this? Any advice most welcome, thanks.

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Hello and welcome to CAG.


It's very likely that your father won't have to pay these 'fines', but you're going to be doing a crash course with us in how private parking companies work. I hope your father has kept all the paperwork including Lidl receipts? Please ask him not to throw anything away for now.


You did the right thing in contacting Lidl which is what we would have suggested, it's a shame they won't help. I expect someone like ericsbrother will have ideas on how to embarrass them.


Best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum




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Could point out to Lidl that their parking Cowboy's  90 minute limit could breach the Equalities Act 2010, as someone in your mother's position will need considerably more time than that allowed, also the Planning permission might have stipu;ations about minimum parking time, usually double that allowed say 3 hours. Think ericsbrother will have some ideas here.

We could do with some help from you.



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Thank you for your replies. Luckily,  has all of the paperwork still and although he doesn’t have the actual receipt we have got a bank statement showing the purchase at the store on the day. I will look at the Equalities Act 2010, thank you.

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did you write to their head office?


you need to carefully explain that these are not fine and neither he his wife or their budgie wont end up in jail if he stands his ground.


if if if the creditor ever tried to issue a moneyclaim in county court to recover the supposed loss of extra parking time revenue they would lose hands down with any proof of local purchase .


there are also MANY way to skin a cat before that 

but we need further info to outline these issues, like as you indicate the 90mins stay limit.

the original PP issued by the council will NOT have been 90mins, it never is and no private parking cowboy can change that permission .


I would also suspect that the signs and ANPR cameras don't have the required council planning permission either, nor that the contract with the landowner with the PPC is current and paid for.


can you complete this for atleast one of the 'events'

then we have a better idea as there are 100's of sites we already have threads on here..




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get on to Lidl head office and the local press and lay it on with a trowel.

Ask the council if there are any conditions in the planning consent that palce limits on parking times- many have a minimum of 2 or 3 hiours free parking and that cannot be changed arbitarily by either Lidl or the parking co. If there are conditions make a big fuss and tell Lidl that you will be going after the closure of their store if they dont tell Athena to wind their neck in


See the case of Tandridge and Caterham branch of Morrisons which was a Somerfield. In short 3 hours free parking  as a minimum, Morrisons chaged it by hiring parking cowboys who limited it to 1 hr when they took over the store and the council told them they would close the store for breach of planning consent if they didnt tell the parking co to do one. Parking co realised they would never make money like that so skulked off.

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