I recently flew to Edinburgh from Exeter Airport. A lovely weekend break but marred by receiving a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) from Premier Park on my return. A parking fine which I have appealed against. This is why.
In summary, I was a little flustered on arrival at Exeter Airport, trying to find my pre-booked car park, before catching my flight. I made a genuine mistake and parked for 10 minutes in the wrong place, 10 minutes that could cost me a minimum of £60 as a fine.
It was a Saturday morning late in November when I was flying to Edinburgh to meet up with friends for a long weekend. As I arrived at Exeter Airport I was in a bit of a fluster trying to park my car.
I had pre-booked in ‘Car Park 2’ but couldn’t find it. I followed the instructions and easily saw Car Park 1 and Car Park 3 and 4 but no Car Park 2. I hastily drove up and down the road a couple of times but to no avail.
There was a parking area opposite the Terminal building and in my haste I thought it must be the Car Park 2 I was looking for. There was no other with reference to Car Park 2 I could see. Reading the entrance sign it said you had to pre-book and that vehicle recognition was in place, all of which I thought applied to the booking I had made.
I entered the car park at 8:53AM. However, as I tried to park I started to wonder if I really was in the right place. There seemed to be too few spaces available and on closer inspection I then registered that the name of the car park was in fact ‘Car Park 2-fly’.
Whilst this is very similar in name to Car Park 2, it didn’t just say Car Park 2 and alarm bells started to ring.
I checked with the business next door to the car park, Boyces, who confirmed the Car Park 2 which I wanted was in fact on the other side of the road, on the same side and just along from the Terminal building. The sign post for it was not easily visible to me as it was behind the car park attendees cabin.
I immediately went back to the car and left the car park. My exit was timed at 9:03AM, just 10 minutes after entering.
Having parked the car in the correct place, I then rang the number given on the Car Park 2-fly display board to explain I’d entered and parked in error and had immediately left .
The operator I spoke to took all my details but explained that she could not cancel any parking notice, should one be issued, as she was in a different section. She said I would need to appeal and explain the circumstances. She asked me to quote my registration number over the phone as the call was recorded and this would assist with any appeal. I did this.
Whilst away I tried to forget about all the problems and convince myself that even if I did get a fine I would appeal and all would be resolved. My friends certainly thought all would be fine based on my explanation of what happened.
No sooner had I returned home than the PCN arrived. I couldn’t believe it and I felt quite sick opening the envelope. I then thought maybe it’s a bit like the McDonalds parking charges that many have received. Although I then quickly thought it’s not really the same as with McDonalds the issue is staying beyond an allocated ‘free’ time. In my case I had simply made a total, genuine mistake and parked briefly in the wrong place.
I decided to immediately write to Premier Park to appeal the Parking Charge Notice. Surely, I thought, they would see my mistake was genuine and grant my appeal. Surely!
I will let you know their response shortly, in my next blog here on MoneyHighStreet.
I have just done exactly the same being extremely confused by the signage at Exeter airport. I’m a bit of a worrier (understatement). What was the result of this for you and do you have any advice on how to be proactive to ensure I am not fined?
Hi Zak, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve experienced the same problem. We tried to explain the situation to the parking company, but they enforced the fine.
We should have fought it, as it is very unreasonable, but we were too busy at that point, and paid up, I’m sorry to admit. I hope that your incursion into that car park didn’t trigger the cameras.