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Furious taxi drivers ticketed after CCTV mistake

Furious taxi drivers have forced parking firm NCP to back down after they were hit with a blizzard of tickets for dropping passengers off at train stations.

The wave of fines came after new high-tech cameras were installed in the private car park outside Ipswich Station, in Suffolk. 

Cameras recording vehicles using the drop-off area, with a ’20-minute max’ waiting time, were confused by the returning cabs, flagging them for automatic fines. 

Furious taxi drivers have forced parking firm NCP to back down after they were hit with a blizzard of tickets for dropping passengers off at train stations. The wave of fines came after new cameras were installed in the private car park outside of Ipswich Station, in Suffolk

While a lack of width in the cameras’ vision meant departing cars were not always picked up by sensors. 

But taxi chiefs threatened to stop ferrying passengers to the busy station as the penalty notice storm turned into a full-blown crisis. 

NCP, the UK’s largest private car park operator, has now promised to tear up the tickets and rejig their CCTV enforcement system. 

Hawk Express, the largest cab company in Ipswich, had 17 penalty notices sent to it so far – but that is only the tip of the iceberg.

Outraged company director Richard Morphew told the Ipswich Star: ‘Those notices are only for the cars we own and operate.

‘But most of our vehicles are driven by their owners and just hire our equipment.

Cameras recording vehicles using the drop-off area, with a '20-minute max' waiting time, were confused by the returning cabs, flagging them for automatic fines. While a lack of width in the cameras' vision meant departing cars were not always picked up by sensors

Cameras recording vehicles using the drop-off area, with a ’20-minute max’ waiting time, were confused by the returning cabs, flagging them for automatic fines. While a lack of width in the cameras’ vision meant departing cars were not always picked up by sensors

‘For every one car we own there are three owner-operated ones, so you can multiply that 17 by four to get the real figure.’

Mark Kraft, of NCP in Ipswich, admitted they’ve had problems with coverage provided by the cameras.

Mr Kraft vowed that all tickets issued for the drop-off area since the cameras went live would be rescinded and angry car owners contacted in the next few days.

‘We realised the entrance was too wide and the cameras were not picking up all the car movements,’ he said.

Hawk Express, the largest cab company in Ipswich, had 17 penalty notices sent to it so far - but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Outraged company director Richard Morphew told the Ipswich Star: 'Those notices are only for the cars we own and operate' 

Hawk Express, the largest cab company in Ipswich, had 17 penalty notices sent to it so far – but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Outraged company director Richard Morphew told the Ipswich Star: ‘Those notices are only for the cars we own and operate’ 

‘We will be installing a third camera which will provide better coverage, it will pick up 99.9% of movements.’

Two notices have been issued to Hawk Express for cars parked for 17 minutes and 19 minutes – both within the 20-minute parking limit at the drop-off point at the station.

Mr Kraft said: ‘We originally configured the system for a 15-minute period before realising our mistake.

‘We thought we’d caught all the wrong notices. These will not have to be paid.’

Mr Morphew had warned that he’d have to start dropping off passengers outside the Station Hotel on the opposite side of the station in a bid to escape punishment.

NCP, the UK's largest private car park operator, has now promised to tear up the tickets and rejig their CCTV enforcement system (Ipswich Station parking bay)

NCP, the UK’s largest private car park operator, has now promised to tear up the tickets and rejig their CCTV enforcement system (Ipswich Station parking bay)

Mr Kraft said he hoped his move would ease cab drivers’ fears.

‘We don’t want to collect penalty fines,’ he insisted. ‘We just want people to park correctly.’

Cabbies and other motorists have faced serious problems since the rebuilt Ipswich station forecourt was completed last year.

The official taxi rank in front of the station has sparked serious problems because it is only wide enough for two vehicles.

As a result cars adapted for disabled people cannot get to the front of the queue if someone with a disability needs a ride.

The multi-storey car park operated by NCP also had serious problems with its payment machines for months.

They refused to accept credit cards and angry passengers had to queue up to 30 minutes to pay to get out before the problems were resolved by the car park company.

 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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