Friends prepared to go to court over £100 charges for two minute stops

James Shepherd, Richard Crane

James Shepherd, left, and Rob Crane, right, both received parking notices in August but say they won't be paying them - Credit: Submitted

Two friends are prepared to go to court over the "ridiculous" behaviour of a private parking company slapping drivers with fines for two-minute stops.

Rob Crane and James Shepherd, who both live in Norwich, were each hit with £60 parking charges for stopping in the St Augustine's Gate car park in Norwich by National Parking Enforcement in August.

Each stopped for less than two minutes on separate occasions, with Mr Crane grabbing money from a cash point and Mr Shepherd running into SPAR to collect medication for his partner.

They've since had their appeals rejected and the invoices have increased to £100.

The pair say they won't be coughing up any money to a company they consider "ridiculous and unreasonable".

NPE has been approached for comment.

St Augustine's Gate carpark

Both men received parking invoices from NPE for stopping in the carpark behind SPAR at St Augustine's Gate - Credit: Google

Mr Crane, 40, said: "I stopped for 90 seconds to run to the cash point. There were no other cars around.

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"They're saying I should have read the signs, but I didn't even see them. I wasn't there long enough.

"It's the most ridiculous thing in the world. They say if we don't pay they'll take us to court, but this would be laughed out the room.

"Not even a traffic warden would do you for a 90-second stop."

Mr Crane said after his appeal was rejected he rang the company to complain, and was told a manager would call him back but never did.

He said: "I'm not paying them anything." 

Mr Shepherd is in a similar situation.

He explained: "I'm willing to go to the small claims court.

"I parked there, not realising it was private. It wasn't gated and wasn't clearly signposted.

"When I went into SPAR someone told me it was, so I quickly moved my car. The whole thing took about 90 seconds and now I've got a £100 charge.

"The punishment doesn't fit the crime.

"When I emailed the British Parking Association they said we should be allowed an observation period to determine whether we want to park somewhere or not.

"One minute clearly isn't sufficient for that."

The 29-year-old said the next step in his battle with NPE would be arbitration.

He added: "I'm waiting to see if they take me to court, or if someone sees sense first."