Monday Musing - They get my heart racing

There is nothing like a parking ticket coming through the post, to get my heart racing. One dropped on my doormat the other day and I panicked. If I cast my mind back to when I last got one, it was probably five years ago, and the one before that another five years ago. My first thoughts when I opened the letter were; ‘When did I park in this place it says I over-stayed in? How much? How can I avoid paying the full rate? I don’t think I’ll tell my partner’. My heart raced. A ridiculous reaction you could say but true. Like most people, I like to be on the right side of the law.  I had parked in a supermarket (which shall remain nameless) car park which only allows two hours parking.


My reaction to getting a parking ticket now would be very different, now that I work for the British Parking Association. I would be calmer, mainly because I now know my parking rights. In fact, we actually have a website called just that; Know Your Parking Rights and a great video that tells you what to do if you get a parking ticket

Firstly, I would read carefully the full terms and conditions displayed on signs in the car park, rather than leave them to my passenger to read. In my defence, I was hurrying to a meeting, but this would not be grounds to appeal the ticket. I overstayed less than ten minutes, and I now know parking operators allow a ten minute grace period.  So secondly, I could have appealed the charge. And thirdly, this is the best bit, if they had rejected my appeal I could have looked up the company that maintains the car park on the BPA website to see if they are one of the over 100 BPA approved car park operators. And they are, so I could have escalated an appeal to the Parking on Private Land Appeals (or POPLA for short). If they weren’t on this list then I could have looked them up on the website for the other accredited car park association. If listed on neither then there is a good chance that the operator was not adhering to one of these association’s Codes of Practice and therefore able to charge more than the permitted amount. However, to my cost I did not read the small print on the parking ticket letter, and after calming down from the initial shock, I quietly paid it, which was not without pain. Did I tell my partner? Well yes I did, but only after a few days of feeling guilty first.