NHS worker hit with £500 fine for parking at ‘pirate’ car park with ‘no way to pay’


Victoria Hopper, who had lived in Grimsby for over 15 years prior to May of this year, had stopped at Osborne Street Car Park on two separate occasions. Highview Parking Limited, who own the car park, issued three separate fines of £170

Victoria Hopper, who had lived in Grimsby for over 15 years prior to May of this year, had stopped at Osborne Street Car Park on two separate occasions
Victoria Hopper, who had lived in Grimsby for over 15 years prior to May of this year, had stopped at Osborne Street Car Park on two separate occasions

An NHS worker said she was left in “total shock” after she received a fine totalling £510 for visiting a what has been described as a ‘pirate’ car park.

Victoria Hopper, who had lived in Grimsby for over 15 years prior to May of this year, had stopped at Osborne Street Car Park on two separate occasions.

On both times, she was no less than an hour, Grimsby Live reported.

Shoppers have previously said they found it almost impossible to pay for parking and Victoria was baffled by what happened to her.

Now working on the Acute Medical Unit at the University Hospital of North Durham, Victoria said: “I’ve seen so many people who have been affected by this in the paper since.

“When I arrived there was no where to pay. The metre wasn’t working, you couldn’t go online so I thought it was derelict wasteland.

“Not once was there a sign with a car parking ticket on the car so I assumed it was OK to park in there.”

The signs above the broken pay machine suggest paying by the app or by phone

However, on Friday October 8, Victoria received three letters stating she had been fined for not paying for parking at Osborne Street Car Park.

Highview Parking Limited, who own Osborne Street Car Park, issued three separate fines of £170 – meaning she was given a total fine of £510.

She said: “I just couldn’t believe it. It was a total shock to open that letter and see this huge fine.

“The letter said that I had not responded to Highview Parking’s correspondence.

“I’d not received any correspondence on the matter prior to this letter. I was furious.

“I’m not prepared to pay this and I can’t afford to pay it either.”

Victoria had placed the car’s address at her mother’s property in Sunderland as she was unsure when she’d be making a return up north from Grimsby.

She had lived in Grimsby for over 15 years before wanting to make a fresh start in Durham and work for the NHS.

She said: “I was quite embarrassed that the fines had been sent to my mum’s house.

University Hospital of North Durham
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Image:

Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)

“I rung the company up straight away which was disastrous. It took one hour and 30 minutes to get someone to speak to me.

“I explained what had happened and said if I had to, I would be able to pay £20 a month because I simply couldn’t afford it.

“I told them I’m not to blame and I wanted to challenge them on this because it looked like a derelict wasteland from the time I was there.”

This situation has impacted Victoria’s mental health profoundly.

She said: “I often lay awake at night wishing that I didn’t have this hanging over me.

“It’s distressing too because I fear bailiffs will come to my mum and dad’s home in Sunderland.

“It’s horrible to think they could be victimised when they’ve done nothing wrong.

“If I have to take them to court, I will.”

A spokesperson for Highview Parking said there are clear signs and the company claims it has not received a complaint or an appear from Victoria.

A spokesperson said: “We have very, very clear signage that shows that you need to pay by phone or app because there’s no machine there.

“It’s very clearly signposted.

“In relation to Victoria Hopper, the lady has never appealed, never complained and she’s just ignored everything from us.

“That’s why it’s got to where it’s got to. There’s no faults, there’s no malpractice, there’s nothing.

“She parked, she didn’t pay, she didn’t appeal. Had she appealed, she would have had a massively reduced fine.

“We’ve not had any correspondence from her in any way.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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