A large number of residents have contacted me with regards to the shared Matalan and Sports Direct car park in Longton.
People will be aware that I have previously contacted the CEO of G24 with regards to the unfair parking charges received by residents when shopping in Matalan and Sports Direct in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. This is the latest letter I have sent to the CEO of G24 following the totally unacceptable revelations that signage was changed in May. I have made very clear all those who have received parking charge notices or paid fines prior to this date must have these cancelled and be refunded. The behaviour of G24 is totally wrong and is not in line with expected standards for private parking companies. I have requested a meeting with the relevant Minister to discuss these matters further.
Please see below the full text of the letter:
"Subject: Parking Charge Notices Issued at the shared Matalan and Sports Direct Car Park, Heathcote Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.
Dear Mr King,
I am writing to you again regarding the large number of ‘parking charge notices’ my constituents have been issued by G24. I am very concerned, based on recent information I have received, that the basis of these Parking Charge Notices was unsound between the installation of the ANPR System and May 2021, when new signage was erected at the car park.
I have been provided with the enclosed photographs by one of my constituents, who has asked to remain anonymous.
The photographs are dash-cam stills, which clearly show a very significant signage change at the car park in question, on a date between the 12th and the 25th May.
Having reviewed the images, I believe that the signage shown on the photograph on the 12th of May (prior to the change) was not adequate for the purpose of bringing the parking charges to the attention of drivers. The old signage was not visible at all to drivers entering the car park and was very unlikely to be noticed by drivers exiting the car park as the sign is small and was placed very high up the pole, well above the eye level of a motorist.
It does not appear to me to comply with the IPC Code of Practice. Therefore, on behalf of all of my constituents who have contacted me regarding the parking charge notices , I would ask that all pending Parking Charge Notices are cancelled for the time period between the ANPR system being installed and the date in May when signs were changed and made compliant with the IPC Code of Practice. I also request that G24 refunds any payments made by my constituents and ceases any debt collection instructions issue, for all parking charge notices issued in this time period.
- An urgent response from G24 addressing the issues I have raised on behalf of my constituents in this letter, in a form which I can share with my constituents.
- The Independent Appeals Service (ISA) to reconsider all parking ticket appeals received from the Heathcote Road car park between the installation of the ANPR system and the end of May 2021, in the light of the new information I have received. In their role as the second stage of the complaints system regarding G24 Parking Charge Notices. Once again, please respond in a form which I can share with my constituents.
- The International Parking Community (IPC) in their role as the administrator of the IAS.
“ 8 Signs
8.1 The Operator must have clear signage located on the Private Land to confirm the Terms and Conditions in place.
8.2 Signs must conform to the requirements as set out in Schedule 1”
IPC Code of Practice Version 8 - Page 20 https://theipc.info/brandings/2/resources/documents/Code_of_Practice_v8.pdf
(For the convenience of others copied into this letter, Schedule 1 of the current IPC Code of Practice (version 8) has been enclosed.)
- From the photographs I have received, I do not believe that the car park signage complied with Section 8 of the IPC Code of Practice before the signage was changed in May 2021. The IPC I feel need to thoroughly investigates the changing of the signage with reference to their own Code of Practice and if they find there has been a breach of the code, what sanctions are applied to G24 Ltd. regarding this. Once again, please respond in a form which I can share with my constituents.
I am copying this letter to my colleague Luke Hall MP, the Minister of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, who holds the portfolio for private parking and have requested to meet to discuss the matter further.
As well as sending this letter to the CEO of G24, I have also sent a copy to the CEOs of Matalan, Sports Direct, IPC and Luke Hall MP, Minister, MHCLG.
I will continue to keep residents updated. If you have been fined and would like my help please email me at - firstname.lastname@example.org