Carlisle taxi driver furious after FIVE tickets while picking up disabled passenger

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A taxi driver is fuming after being ticketed five times in three weeks for picking up a disabled passenger from the bingo.

Chris Bray, who drives a taxi in Carlisle, has received the tickets in the Englishgate Plaza car park, clocking up fines worth £300.

The car park, on land between Cecil Street and Botchergate, is operated by Smart Parking.

Mr Bray says the passenger he collects needs help getting from the bingo building to his cab.

It seems to me they are discriminating against disabled people

He told the News & Star: "It's a £60 fine so that's a total of £300. I've done this journey for the last five years in the same car park and I've never had any trouble until the last few weeks.

"I don't take up a car parking space. I merely pull over to the side by the bingo and leave the car to go and collect my passenger."

Mr Bray has complained to Smart Parking, who have cameras in the car park, but they will not cancel his tickets.

However, he says he is refusing to pay them.

He said: "It seems to me that they are discriminating against disabled people.

"The tickets are issued on a Saturday and Sunday night between 8.50pm and 9.10pm.

"I need to help the passenger with bags."

Mr Bray said: "It's a serious issue. I intend to see Carlisle MP John Stevenson about this. I need to get the ball rolling."

A spokesman for Smart Parking, which is based in Birmingham, said: "At the car park we use a state-of-the-art ANPR parking management system that records the time all motorists enter and exit.

"For those people who do not pay the correct tariff they should expect to receive a charge.

"In the case of Mr Bray he has never paid the correct tariff, so rightly received charges.

"When entering a private car park we would remind motorists to always check the terms and conditions first before deciding to park.

"There are numerous signs at the car park that clearly highlight terms and conditions of use and the vast majority of motorists have no problems using the system."

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Knota   Taximan , Carlisle Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 at 7:07AM
My mum is not disabled, I'm not a taxi service can use your private land to drop off my mum? The words 'taxi' or 'disabled' don't mean exemption. If it was my land and i maintained it and someone regularly drove around on it I would expect a little contribution parking or not.
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John   Wood , Saturday, 14 October, 2017 at 10:19PM
Silly man. Pay up!
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T   J , Bootle Saturday, 14 October, 2017 at 5:09PM
Another good reason not to come to Carlisle
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Ian   hebson , carlisle Friday, 13 October, 2017 at 9:50AM
6 tickets in three weeks? And he continued to go there after the first ones were issued? Oh my lord. The thing is, if taxi drivers are exempt from this charge, isn't it open to misuse? Also there is a ten minute grace period. Can the pick ups from that location not be timed a bit better? 30 secs from entrance to bingo entrance x2, 9 ins waiting / loading time. What;s the problem? If that's not suitable don't go there - others will. I'm sure other taxi drivers manage pick ups perfectly fine from that location and will continue to do so if Mr Bray doesn't. The rules are there to be read and then you decide whether you break them or not, In Mr Brays case, 6 times in three weeks.
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chris   bray , carlisle Monday, 16 October, 2017 at 11:44PM
you are a minority and do not understand the elderly and disabled requirements, and your numbers are wrong.I hope you don't get old or have anyone that is old or infirm. Please engage the brain before opening that gap below your nose have a nice Ian.
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David   Brown , Carlisle Tuesday, 10 October, 2017 at 3:20PM
 The car parking company are not discrimminating against disabled people JUST freeloaders who think they are above the law. Tell the company that you are helping out and ask if there are any consessions. They will more than likely help you!! The terms and conditions are there for all to see so stop moaning. You have got away with it for long enough probably.
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Bern   Windhow , Carlisle Thursday, 05 October, 2017 at 5:59PM
Terrible advice Pete H telling the driver to bin the notice. If the company chooses to chase the debt via the bailiffs and it goes to the courts then the bill will end up being five times what it was. They can, and will, chase the debt if they are so inclined. People telling others to bin penalty notices are wrong to do so. This guy could lose his taxi as a result if the bailiffs turn up.
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  , Tuesday, 03 October, 2017 at 2:09PM
I notice Smart Parking is based in Birmingham? Do they even know or care that Botchergate is closed to vehicles on Saturday nights and so the ONLY access to the Bingo entrance is via the car park for a disabled person. The Bingo should take some action as this is clearly a regular customer who may no longer be able to attend the bingo anymore if the taxi doesn't pick her up!
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taxi   user , carlisle Friday, 29 September, 2017 at 7:24PM
Just a side note but a taxi doesn't provide a charitable service or public transport. they are individually payed enough to travel distances by their customers. on the actual location of disabled pickup there is an issue and it needs a better policy
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James   Casey , Carlisle Thursday, 28 September, 2017 at 3:15PM
The fee is something like £1 and you have 10+ minutes grace to find a space, I regularly use this car park for pick up and drop off of a work colleague and iv never had any issue. Taxi drivers think they have rules of their own, the truth is none of us know all the facts so we shouldn't be making comment; what's to say this particular driver hasn't been warned several times about registering his number place but through shear ignorance he hasn't bother, this being the result.
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Pete   H , Carlisle Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 at 4:46PM
2 things - if i were to drive into the carpark then decide not to park there and leave the car park will i be issued a 'penalty charge'. Secondly, it is not a legal penalty charge - only local authorities can issue proper parking fines, what Smart Parking are issuing is legally nothing but an invoice. I would just bin it or dispute the matter then send them counter invoice for the time it took you to dispute it.
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John   Daley , KENDAL Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 at 9:41AM
Taxis should be exempt from paying parking charges unless they are parking. So called smart parking should know taxis are providing a public service and are not parking. They know this very well but don't care about people. All they want is money. Smart Parking are bullies
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John   Wood , Carlisle Thursday, 21 September, 2017 at 3:19PM
Not so "smart" after all
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Andrew   Butcher , Carlisle Thursday, 21 September, 2017 at 8:47AM
Smart Parking are a disgraceful company. My wife received a fine after she entered her number plate incorrectly but paid the due amount. After paying the fine she then found the original ticket and even though we evidenced the correct fee had been paid, they refused to refund the money. They referred back to their terms and conditions but contractually my wife had paid for parking and ought not have been fined. Surely they should be using discretion. The mistake my wife made was paying the fine in good faith. Chris Bray has taken the right action by refusing to pay while disputing the charges. This sort of inflexibility is driving people out of our towns and cities.
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Dave   Pemberton , Cumbria Thursday, 21 September, 2017 at 8:44AM
My partners daughter recieved a private parking charge reciept from this cowboy outfit, the writing on the letter is that small it is bearly readable and it actually doesnt even say what offence she has commited. This company is intimidating vunerable people who feel pressured into paying even though the company cannot justify what the offence that has taken place. Apparently dozens of these PPCN (Private Parking Charge Notice) have been sent out in the last few weeks, if you get one read it carefully and just see if what offence you are getting charged for.
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M   R , Cockermouth Wednesday, 20 September, 2017 at 4:47PM
I would have thought that the simplest solution would have been to pay the car park fee each time it is used.
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Dilbert   Allioli , Ca Wednesday, 20 September, 2017 at 3:10PM
Rules apply to everyone suck it up take it on chin lesson learnt.
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Sandra   Graves , Carlisle Wednesday, 20 September, 2017 at 2:32PM
As a taxi driver we are often sent to pick up regular passengers from the bingo. We don't park in bays. If we are all going to start getting tickets while picking passengers we will end up refusing to go there. Also we pick up from the car park entrance of the Ibis Hotel. Sometimes at both the bingo and the hotel having to wait a while for the passengers. It seems all the company want is money. We are providing a service to the public and picking up and dropping off passengers is not parking.
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  , Wednesday, 20 September, 2017 at 11:55AM
The taxi is obviously NOT parking but merely picking up a disabled passenger from the exit to the bingo which unfortunately happens to be located in the car park! Any non disabled person would be able to walk elsewhere to be picked up. So it is discrimination.
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John   Gamble , Carlisle Wednesday, 20 September, 2017 at 8:15AM
I don't see how they are discriminating the disabled? The camera's don't know who is in the taxi. Seems a silly comment by the driver trying to justify it.
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chris   bray , carlisle Wednesday, 20 September, 2017 at 12:59PM
When you challenge a case like this one and you give all the details and they still refuse to budge knowing they are disabled people then we have an issue please think before commenting thanks.
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