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‘Stung twice’ in four days - single mother of three paid £260 to parking company

PUBLISHED: 11:33 05 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:55 05 January 2019

Rachel Bailey-Everest was fined when she left her three children in the car parked in a parent/child bay while she popped into a shop as the youngest was not well and had fallen asleep. With her are two of her three children, Amalia, seven, and Ben, three. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Rachel Bailey-Everest was fined when she left her three children in the car parked in a parent/child bay while she popped into a shop as the youngest was not well and had fallen asleep. With her are two of her three children, Amalia, seven, and Ben, three. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

A single mother-of-three paid £260 to a private company after parking in a parent and child space - but leaving her children in the car.

Last August, Rachel Bailey-Everest, from Cringleford, received two parking charge notices (PCNs) from National Parking Enforcement (NPE). The company, based in Wymondhmam, manages over 400 carparks across the UK and is prevalent in Norfolk.

Ms Bailey-Everest said that on August 28 last year she parked in a parent and child space in the carpark at the East of England Co-op on Earlham Green Lane in Norwich. She said that her three children were in the car and she had intended they would all go into the store, but after parking she noticed her three-year-old son, who was ill, was asleep. She said she decided to leave him in the car with her two older children.

“I was gone less than five minutes after getting some medication for my son,” Ms Bailey-Everest said. “I thought nothing more of it.”

She said she returned to the same store four days later to redeem some GoGoHares stickers and parked in the same space for eleven minutes, “thinking it would be safe to leave the three children in the car”.

Rachel Bailey-Everest was fined when she left her three children in the car parked in a parent/child bay while she popped into a shop as the youngest was not well and had fallen asleep. With her are two of her three children, Amalia, seven, and Ben, three. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRachel Bailey-Everest was fined when she left her three children in the car parked in a parent/child bay while she popped into a shop as the youngest was not well and had fallen asleep. With her are two of her three children, Amalia, seven, and Ben, three. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“If they needed me, one of my older children could get out safely to get me,” she said.

A fortnight later she received two PCNs. She said she did not check the dates and times on the letters and assumed they both related to the same incident. She appealed the first charge on August 31st but was unsuccessful.

NPE has said it provided details in the rejection letter on how to further the appeal to the Independent Appeals Service, but this option was not used.

“As the charge remained unpaid for a month after the letter of rejection was issued, the charge passed to our debt recovery agents,” the company stated.

These agents added £60 to the charge.

Ms Bailey-Everest said: “Initially I didn’t even realise they were two separate charges. After I appealed I thought I had no choice but to pay. It wasn’t until I received a letter threatening me with bailiffs or court action that I realised I had been stung twice.

“Despite asking NPE to deduct the charge because I didn’t realise there were two charges, I ended up paying an additional £160.

“It’s not an easy situation for a single mum of three,” she said.

NPE said, “No children exited the vehicle and therefore the driver did not require the extra space provided and should have parked in a regular parking bay.”

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