North Cornwall MP Scott Mann has criticised private parking firms for issuing unfair fines and refusing to withdraw parking charge notices. 

He said that after looking into cases brought to him by constituents about fines and PCNs (parking charge notices), many were unfair or brought in error.  

One of those who approached the MP for help was a forces veteran in their 80s, who got fined after entering and leaving a car park upon discovering all the disabled parking spaces were taken.  

This, along with incidents where some have been fined when parking machines were out of order, has led the MP to call on parking firms to ‘play fair’, and consider that many of those being fined are elderly and struggle with mobile apps, particularly if left with no alternative when a parking machine may be out of older.  

Mr Mann said: “I’ve been sent many emails recently asking for my intervention with fines and PCNs that have been issued to constituents and visitors to North Cornwall. After looking into the cases, I’ve found that many of them are quite unfair or have been issued in error. 

“One of my constituents, who is an ex-forces veteran in her 80s with limited mobility, was issued a £100 fine for entering a car park and attempting to find a disabled space, then leaving because they were all taken. Other people have contacted me because they have been issued similar fines when they found parking machines inoperable. The companies refuse to show any initiative or, in some cases, speak to the people involved. 

“I am calling on private parking firms to ‘play fair’ and consider that many of the people they are sending PCNs to are elderly and struggle with mobile apps when the machines are not working. Likewise, those who are visiting often don’t know the area very well and receiving a demand for £100 is not a nice way to end their holiday in North Cornwall.” 

Mr Mann’s office has dealt with hundreds of cases relating to car parking charges over the past few years. On many occasions, they have been forced to write to the companies directly and request that the charges be removed. 

Earlier this year, the Government issued a call for evidence as part of plans to better regulate the private parking sector.