Drivers complain about a Sheffield car park every day, the boss of a nearby cafe says.
Ticket machines at Broomhill Rooftop on Fulwood Road "frequently" don’t work and motorists "struggle" with the payment app, according to Abby Lyon of The Steel Cauldron on Spooner Road
It means customers frequently breach the 10-minutes-to-pay rule and receive demands for £100. The rule is included on densely-worded signs that take about three minutes to fully read.
The site is run by Excel Parking. In January, the firm apologised after The Star revealed motorists were wrongly receiving £100 demands due to a fault. The same issue was reported 13 years ago.
In August, Gemma Rayne received a £100 demand after taking 21 minutes to pay. She said this was due to a faulty machine forcing them to download the payment app. Excel Parking - and regulator International Parking Community - rejected her appeal.
Steel Cauldron is a popular wizard-themed cafe.
Abby said: "We get daily complaints. If they maintained the machines it would be easier for customers to buy a ticket. But when one doesn’t work it creates a queue of people. They then try to download the app but 'struggle' with it and can’t work it out. As a result, many pay after 10 minutes has passed. When they come in they can’t fully relax because they’re worried they will be hit with a huge demand."
We asked Excel Parking if it accepted the machines at Broomhill Rooftop were poorly maintained and whether it was difficult to use the payment app. The firm did not respond.
We asked regulator the IPC if it advised motorists to read every word of Excel’s sign at Broomhill Rooftop. And whether the 10 minutes-to-pay rule should be extended to give them time to do so. We also asked if the signs breached its Code of Practice which states they should be ‘clear, concise, unambiguous and not misleading’.
The IPC did not respond. It is funded by private parking firms including Excel.
We asked John Lawson and Andrew Michaels, directors of car park owner Staghold, via their accountant Neville Newman of Harris and Trotter, whether the 10-minute rule gives motorists enough time to park, read and pay. But they did not reply.
Earlier this year traders in Broomhill claimed Excel Parking was 'killing' trade.
The Government has announced a clampdown on ‘rogue’ parking firms. It is proposing to slash the amount they can demand, introduce a binding code of practice and an independent appeals service for drivers.
Figures from the DVLA show a record 11.1m penalty charges were handed out in the 12 months to the end of March - a 29 per cent annual rise - worth an estimated £1.1 billion.