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Parking at Darthaven - A Cautionary Tale

21st January 2020

Kim Sturgess warns members to verify that their car numberplate is registered to avoid a surprise fine and threats of legal action

Darthaven and Premier Parking Solutions


In June 2019 my 7.5 metre boat spent a week in Darthaven yard and I paid £378 for this service. Sadly this was not the limit of my costs and I wish to share with other RDYC members my experience in the hope they may avoid similar problems.

During the seven days in the Darthaven yard I parked my car beside the boat on several occasions, the car access barrier being raised by marina staff to allow me to enter and exit the boat yard. Imagine my surprise when, much later, I received a letter from a company I had never heard of, containing a photograph of my car taken on one of the days my car entered the car park, together with demand for £100 from a Premier Parking Solutions to cover a “contravention”. This £100 penalty would be reduced to £60 if I paid them within 14 days. Subsequently PPS have threatened to take me to the county court over the £100 “parking penalty” and add a further £138.33 recover their legal and court costs.

Naturally, as I had paid to have my boat in the yard and Darthaven authorised me to have one car parked beside my boat, I looked to Darthaven to come to my rescue. Regrettably for me, Darthaven have told me they are happy with their Parking policy and PPS. Darthaven told me they had no record on their computer system of my car’s registration number, and therefore a parking penalty of £100 from PPS was to be “expected”.

This company uses expensive number plate recognition cameras that the Police themselves refer to as ANPR technology “used to help detect, deter and disrupt criminality at a local, force, regional and national level, including tackling travelling criminals, Organised Crime Groups and terrorists”.

Following several “exchanges” about this matter, Darthaven has now reluctantly agreed to pay half the PPS “discounted parking penalty” leaving me to pay £30 to end the matter.

Kim C Sturgess - 19 January 2020

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