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Ban lifted on car park company in fines row

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

?A parking company convicted of misleading motorists has been given permission to access the personal details of drivers again, it emerged today.

?A parking company convicted of misleading motorists has been given permission to access the personal details of drivers again, it emerged today.

The DVLA banned Observices Parking Consultancy from acquiring the addresses of motorists after the company and its director were fined almost £30,000 by magistrates in

Wolverhampton. The ban prevented the firm from fining drivers caught flouting parking restrictions by the company's camera system at St John's Retail Park in Snow Hill.

Despite receiving a hefty fine, OPC is continuing to enforce parking restrictions at the retail park.

DVLA spokeswoman Karen Joseph revealed today the ban imposed by the organisation had been lifted, saying: "Following our investigation, OPC is now allowed to access details.

"Investigations like this are carried out on a case-by-case basis before a decision is made. Companies that have acted out of the norm will be monitored very closely in the future."

The DVLA imposed the ban after the firm and its director Douglas Harris, of Hertfordshire, admitted 36 offences in court on the basis of neglect rather than connivance.

Magistrates were told shoppers can leave their vehicles on the St John's car park for two hours for free, but are fined £100 if they stayed longer.

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Drivers are also warned the bill can rise to £400 if the ticket is challenged. But several drivers alleged that, after making two visits to the site, they received a fine despite never staying more than two hours.

The car park was monitored by cameras taking timed photographs but there was confusion involving cars visiting twice in one day.

Semi-retired driver salesman Chris Edwards, aged 66, off Jeffcock Road, was one of those who received a parking fine after visiting the retail park twice on the same day. He said of the DVLA's decision to remove the ban: "It's a disgrace.

"The DVLA should not have made a decision like this and I am surprised OPC is allowed to continue operating at the site.

"If I ever have to do shopping there again I will do it on foot knowing that that company are running the parking there." OPC declined to comment.

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