Private parking company employed to fine parents and staff at Woodford Green school
- Credit: Archant
Woodford Green parents believe a resident has employed a private parking enforcement company to issue fines to parents and school staff.
Parents of pupils at St Antony's in Mornington Road often park in Friary Lane - a single track road which is not owned by the council or privately owned - but new parking signs have been put up in the last year.
CUP Enforcement, the parking company which has been issuing £100 fines, has erected signs which say "unauthorised, incorrectly parked vehicles not displaying a valid permit, or vehicles parked in the wrong bays or in a restricted area, on a double yellow lines or causing an obstruction or parked on access will receive a parking charge notice".
The signs say CUP Enforcement is an approved operator and member of the British Parking Association.
Parent Kerry Charles said: "We think a resident has employed the company to give tickets to people who park there. But they don't legally have the right to put up these signs and issue fines.
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"The land isn't owned by anyone - it's not privately owned or owned by the council. The person doing this doesn't own the land.
"The fines don't even look real. They send these menacing letters and some people actually pay them.
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"It's the grandparents of grandchildren at the school that it's really affecting. It's causing so much distress to everyone.
"People are paying the fines so someone is making money. I'd say about 50 people have got these tickets. It's been going on for quite some time.
"It's horrendous - people don't have this kind of money nowadays either.
"It's going to be reported to the police."
No tickets are left on the vehicles and residents receive the "fines" in the post.
"But the photos of the car aren't even clear," Kerry said. "And the company name looks superimposed on the letter."
John Green, a nearby resident, said he had notices attached to his fence, which he swiftly removed after consulting a solicitor.
"It's unadopted land," he said. "I believe very strongly that people should be free to park there.
"I believe they are not in a position to claim it's private land - the people who are doing this have no right to do so.
A spokeswoman for CUP Enforcement said the matter has been submitted for investigation and any PCNs that have been issued at the site will be "placed on hold" until further information has been established.
The school declined to comment when approached by the Recorder.