https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey ... 0-15623690
BT accused of enforcing 'underhand' £100 parking fines next to Leatherhead Royal Mail sorting office
The telecommunications company has said that warning signs against parking are "prominent"
BT has been accused of an "underhand" parking enforcement measure that is fining residents £100 for parking on land owned by the company.
The land in question is adjacent to the Leatherhead Royal Mail sorting office in Station Road, with BT giving fines to those parking on the land whilst picking up deliveries.
The telecommunications company has said that the step to enforce parking fines was taken to ensure that engineers have "vital" access to the telephone exchange building at all times.
Although warning signs against parking are present, one victim of a fine has described them as "eight feet in the air" and not visible from within a car.
Bookham resident Kellie Wilson, 38, received a £100 parking fine in the post on December 30, 11 days after a private parking enforcement officer took a photograph of her husband's car parked on the private BT land - an area that she says herself and other residents have used for a number of years without trouble.
She said: "He [Mr Wilson] had parked and had not seen any signs until he walked to the post office and saw a sign on a fence.
"He stopped to read it, at which point a bloke jumped out of a car and took a picture of my husband's vehicle.
"I'm 5ft4 and the signs are well above my head so there is no way you can read that from your car."
"I understand if it's private parking but I think it's underhand," added the 38-year-old.
"They should give people a fair warning, so if someone is getting out of the car, they could get out and say 'actually this is permit only'."
Last Sunday (December 30), Mrs Wilson said she had witnessed the parking attendant act in a rude manner to an elderly lady who had parked on the land.
BT, who provide phone, broadband and 999 services via the building, responded to the claims concerning warning signs.
A spokesman said: "Prominent warning signs about the parking restrictions are displayed around our private parking area.
"We'd recommend anyone visiting nearby buildings, including Royal Mail's delivery office, to check they are parked in the right place."
Mrs Wilson is to appeal the fine, which would have been reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days, questioning the amount of warning given and the method in which the fines are enforced.
Mrs Wilson said: "She had got one foot out of her car and a man said 'don't park there', but the attendant in the car jumped out and said 'too late'. He took a picture of the car before she had the opportunity to move it.
"The lady went into the post office and was visibly shaken."
BT has asked its contractor to investigate any complaints about staff.