Motorist given parking fine after taking drive-through coronavirus test

The Canary

A “flabbergasted” motorist says he was handed a parking fine after taking a drive-through coronavirus test at a car park in north London.

Geoff Pugh was sent the £90 penalty charge notice (PCN) from Highview Parking after taking his family for a throat and mouth swab in the car park at Edmonton Green Shopping Centre in Enfield on 7 July.

The site has been used for testing during the lockdown period.

Coronavirus – Mon Aug 3, 2020
Geoff Pugh says he was handed a parking fine after taking a drive-through coronavirus test at a car park in north London (Geoff Pugh/PA)

Pugh, a photographer from Stoke Newington, east London, told the PA news agency: “At first I thought it was just a genuine fine, so I was about to pay it, but when I looked into where it happened and realised what it was, I was flabbergasted.

“I think it’s completely ridiculous to charge someone for looking after the health of their family, neighbours and work colleagues.

“I didn’t even leave the car the whole time I was there.”

Pugh said he was at the site for 23 minutes with his wife and two children and followed all of the advice from staff directing him where to go.

His vehicle had been detected by a camera using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) which was situated in the car park.

A Highview Parking spokesperson said it would cancel any PCNs issued to visitors “incorrectly”.

The spokesperson said: “The car park terms and conditions and the pay-for-parking system and tariff are set by our client – we do not have any involvement in setting these rules, or indeed when they do or do not charge for parking.

“We cannot confirm whether or not the car park has been repurposed by Enfield Council, just that we have been asked to suspend enforcement activity on specific days and times where they have agreed to provide space for Covid testing. However the car park is still being used for retail during this time.

“As these are specific dates, we rely on notification of those dates in advance.

“July 7 was an occasion where we were only notified that the site had been used for Covid testing, more than a week later, and PCNs were already issued.

“We will cancel any PCNs that have been issued to visitors incorrectly on this or any other specified date where testing is taking place.”

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us