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Coffee shop supervisor hit with £7,000 parking fines - for using her work car park

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
(SWNS)

A single mum unwittingly wracked up a huge £7,000 fine after her car registration was given to parking chiefs with “with one digit wrong”.

Charlotte Machin, 30, was left with the colossal bill after parking fines were then sent to the wrong address for nearly a year because of a fault on her logbook.

Ms Machin, a supervisor at Costa Coffee, bought a new car in September 2018.

She gave her car details to the relevant people so she could be on the parking 'white list' at the shopping centre car park, close to where she works.

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But unknown to her, the registration number was input incorrectly and her Fiat 500 was not officially cleared to park where she continued to leave it for almost 12 months.

And when she purchased her car, Charlotte's home address was also written down wrong and her neighbour a few doors down received the fines.

It was only by chance that Charlotte received a final warning letter through her door six weeks ago - with her name but the wrong house number.

Charlotte, from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, said: "I couldn't understand what the fine meant when it said final warning.

"I went to the house who had been getting my post and the man there was so relieved he could finally stop getting all of my fines.

(SWNS)

"He told me he had been in touch with the company on numerous occasions to tell them they had the wrong address but they had continued to harass him for months."

The company offered to lower the charge, initially to £2,500 and eventually to £500 if she could pay it back within a week.

But the single mum-of-two was not only unable to pay but maintained she shouldn't have to.

She said: "Now they're threatening to take me to court for the full £7,000 and I could have a CCJ against my name.

"I'm furious. I have worked so hard to get my credit rating up - I never miss a payment on my car or my credit card and I'm trying to get myself in a position where I can apply for a mortgage and leave something for my kids.

"They could destroy everything I've been working hard for in a matter of days.

(SWNS)

"I'm a single mum and I only work part time. I earn £8,000 a year."

A representative for Vehicle Control Services Limited said: “Ms Machin has been issued with a number of Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) since September last year but she has failed to respond to them until relatively recently; our notices included full details of how to make an appeal.

“Taking into account her particular circumstances, and as a gesture of goodwill, we offered Ms Machin an opportunity to settle the PCNs at a substantially reduced amount despite many of the PCN charges having increased due to their progression through the process.

“No settlement has yet been forthcoming and we can only advise Ms Machin to contact us as soon as possible to make arrangements to settle the outstanding amount before matters progress further.

“As appropriate, we would always advise motorists to engage with the operator's appeals process at an early stage.”