Reverand: ‘Parking fine is outrageous’

Canon Robert Brunswick with his parking fine from Parking Eye, which he believes is unfair
Canon Robert Brunswick with his parking fine from Parking Eye, which he believes is unfair

A reverend who has raised thousands of pounds for people in poverty says it’s a ‘scandal’ he was slapped with a parking fine when he was doing charity work.

Canon Robert Brunswick, of St Clements Avenue, Farington, was doing a talk about his good work at a hotel in Southport, but got more than he bargained for when he was handed a £100 parking fine for using the hotel’s car park.

He said: “There were signs up about parking, but I assumed they were for holiday-makers using the funfair and people who wanted to park there but weren’t using the hotel.

“I didn’t think it applied to me because I was speaking at the hotel, but I was given a £100 fine from Parking Eye, which would be reduced to £60 if I paid it within 14 days.

“I was worried the bailiffs would come round, so I paid the fine but I wrote to Parking Eye to explain the situation.

“I thought they would have listened, but my appeal was unsuccessful.

“They did say as a gesture of goodwill they would extend the deadline for the £60 charge period, but that was useless because I’d already paid.”

He added: “I’m a retired clergyman, and quite frankly, I think this is outrageous.

“I was just doing my job and I’d paid for my own petrol to get there, and then I got this fine.

“It’s a scandal.”

Sue Macoy, from the Royal Clifton Hotel, said: “The car park is free for anyone staying overnight at the hotel, and the car registration number is put into the system with the room booking.

“We can’t get involved in Parking Eye appeals; it’s an independent company.”

A spokesman from Parking Eye, which uses number plate recognition cameras at the site, said: “Mr Brunswick received a parking charge for his two hours and 15 minute stay in the car park of the Royal Clifton Hotel, Southport.

“The hotel operates the car park as a ‘pay and display’ and has over a dozen signs indicating this, on each entrance to the car park and at the main entrance to the hotel.

“There was no record of any attempt to pay for the vehicle in question.”

The spokesman added: “We understand that genuine mistakes are sometimes made and we operate an audited appeals process, encouraging people to appeal if they feel there are mitigating circumstances.

“It was determined that no such circumstances were applicable in this case and the appeal was declined and Mr Brunswick has now paid the charge.”