Driver hit with parking fine after car breakdown meant four hour wait

Shirley Barber was hit with a parking charge notice after her car broke down at the Riverside Retail Park in Norwich

Shirley Barber was hit with a parking charge notice after her car broke down at the Riverside Retail Park in Norwich - Credit: Shirley Barber/Archant

A stranded 76-year-old forced to wait four hours for her car to be fixed was left aghast after finding she had been smacked with a parking charge for the stop.

Shirley Barber had been parked in Riverside Retail Park for an hour and a half on November 16 for shopping and lunch before she realised her Mercedes C Class would not start.

She subsequently called the RAC who arrived just before 8pm and proceeded to leave a couple of minutes after the car's flat battery was replaced. 

But the part-time Hopkins Homes worker was dumfounded to receive a parking charge reminder on December 18.

The actual parking charge notice for £70 arrived in the post three days later from car park owner Highview Parking.

Shirley Barber who lives in Stalham 

Shirley Barber who lives in Stalham - Credit: Shirley Barber

The Stalham woman was later told by Direct Collection Bailiffs in early February that the parking charge had increased to £140. 

The letter added Mrs Barber's £70 parking charge reduced to £42 if paid within 14 days. 

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There is a two hour limit for parking at the Riverside Retail Park.

Mrs Barber had contacted Citizens Advice as part of her appeal but was met with difficulties accessing a verification code as part of the process. 

Riverside Retail Park in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Riverside Retail Park in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

She said: "I was desperate to get this sorted out so I can have some peace. I couldn't get anywhere on the phone with my appeal. 

"It was bad enough paying for the car breakdown. These costs for parking seem completely unfair.

"As soon as the RAC got me going with the new battery I left the car park." 

Having been contacted by the Evening News, Highview Parking has since decided to reverse its decision. 

A spokesman for the London-based company said: "Having reviewed the incident and given the circumstances regarding the Mrs Barber’s flat battery we have agreed to cancel the parking charge notice." 

Direct Collection Bailiffs has been contacted for comment. 

The Evening News has launched a 'We'll Sort It' campaign which aims to fix problems for folk across the city. 

Got a problem you need sorting? Contact eleanor.pringle@archant.co.uk