Mother and daughter speak out against "unfair" parking ticket (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Mother and daughter speak out against "unfair" parking ticket in South Woodford
A mother and daughter have spoken out against what they believe are unfair parking tickets being issued in South Woodford.
Kalpani Patel, 45,of Chigwell Road, South Woodford, was shocked when her daughter received a parking ticket while visiting the doctor's surgery at South Woodford Health Centre in High Road.
The pay and display machines were out of order and customers were instead instructed to use the ‘RingGo’ system - by which customers make payment over the phone with a credit or debit card.
But Mrs Patel’s daughter, Hennika, 21, did not have a payment card on her at the time so she left a note on her windscreen, along with 10 other car park customers.
When Miss Patel came out of the doctor's surgery she found she had been given a parking ticket for £55 - as had the other 10 customers.
“She was in tears,” said Mrs Patel.
Mrs Patel put in an appeal on the grounds that the machines were not working and paying by phone is not suitable for some customers - such as the elderly.
“When you call RingGo they charge you an admin fee and it’s 70p an hour to park so it’s over £2 to go and see my doctor.”
“Normally when the machines are not working and you put a note on your windscreen it’s OK.”
Mrs Patel’s appeal to the council was denied, but she was offered to pay a discounted penalty of £30.
When parking charges were introduced at the car park, which is shared with the library, in 2010, residents objected and said it was unfair to people with health and mobility problems.
A spokesman from Redbridge Council said: "We understand residents’ frustration when parking machines are temporarily out of action and work hard to ensure they are repaired quickly.
"We introduced the RingGo parking system as an alternative to cash parking.
"It means motorists have more options as to how they pay for their parking and can continue to park safely and legally at Council-operated parking spaces should the ticket machine be out of action for any reason.
"People who choose to park in a controlled area without paying clearly risk receiving a parking ticket.
The council now pay the 20p 'convenience charge' that used to be charged to RingGo customers but there is still the phone call to pay for.
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