Parking victory for Stevenage choir fined £300 for tidying up

Roaring Meg Retail Park

Roaring Meg Retail Park - Credit: Archant

Miserly parking attendants have backed down after charging a charity group more than £300 for parking 10 minutes over the time limit.

Roaring Meg Retail Park Parking Restrictions, Monkswood Way, Stevenage

Roaring Meg Retail Park Parking Restrictions, Monkswood Way, Stevenage - Credit: Archant

Three members of the Stevenage Male Voice Choir were hit with parking fines of £100 each after they stayed 10 minutes over their three-hour time limit to help clean up after their Christmas party at the town’s Community Arts Centre.

The party took place from 7.30pm to 10.30pm when the Roaring Meg Retail Park businesses were closed.

And due to the Christmas post causing delays, the parking notices – which were issued on December 25 – did not reach doormats until January 2.

That meant there was no time to appeal the decision, so members took advantage of the 40 per cent reduction rate if payment was received within two weeks.

The Stevenage Male Voice Choir

The Stevenage Male Voice Choir - Credit: Archant

In total they paid £180 to Parking Eye which enforce the parking at the car park.

But now thanks to a public push from Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland and a number of borough councillors, the fines have been cancelled and the choir members will not have to pay.

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Choir chairman Geoff Tungate told the Comet this week: “We have had written confirmation back from the Stevenage Arts Guild, who contacted Parking Eye, that we are going to get reimbursed – although we do not have the money back yet. I am happy that we are getting it sorted out and, as it has been sorted out amicably, it seems to have been worth causing a little bit of a stink.

“Our members are mostly pensioners and give their time, for free, to sing for charitable causes for which we have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the past 56 years.

“And we feel that this type of charging is unjust and against the public spirit.”

The 67-year-old added: “We will still have to park there as we practice at the Arts Community Centre on Fridays. It doesn’t normally bother us because we only sing for two-and-a-half hours.”