BP petrol station continues to issue £100 fines to customers

As another customer using BP’s Mitcham Road petrol station gets stung with a £100 ‘fine’, Inside Croydon suggests that drivers steer clear of BP garages

Drivers of vehicles in need of fuel in the north of the borough might want to think twice before pulling on to the forecourt of the BP garage on Mitcham Road.

For it seems that customers popping in to BP for a tank-full of petrol, a car wash or perhaps a quick visit to the M&S express store on the site are still being fined £100 for the privilege.

Inside Croydon reported in June how our loyal reader, Guy Clapperton, had been served with an official-looking Penalty Charge Notice from BP’s agents, Met Parking, demanding £100 for daring to use their petrol station as… a petrol station.

Clapperton’s visit – including a fuel purchase, some shopping at Marks and Sparks and use of the car wash – saw him out-stay an arbitrary 30-minute time limit imposed at the petrol station to stop drivers who the company claims have been using it as a car park while they collect passengers from Gatwick Airport, some 20 miles away.

Only some very polite and persistent letters from Clapperton eventually saw him get through the automated penalty system and reach a real human being, who made a real human judgement and cancelled the ridiculous and outrageous PCN. BP’s decision, coincidentally, of course, came within a week of our reporting the fine on Inside Croydon.

The warning signs on some BP garages, including at Mitcham Road

There is a sign at the petrol station warning of the dire consequences of over-staying BP’s limit welcome, but amid the clutter around the garage, for busy customers in a hurry to get their petrol and shopping, and their car washed, and then leave, it is not something which everyone might notice.

One such BP customer who was caught unawares is Adam Gallucci, who too has been hit with the threat of a £100 for shopping at BP on Mitcham Road last month.

“I used the car wash which I had to queue for, did some shopping and didn’t think anything of checking the tyre pressure and filling up my water tank.

“I wasn’t actually ‘parked’ at all. My car was in at least four different locations – car wash, car park, pump… I was 47 minutes and have been charged £100 reduced to £60 if paid in 30 days.”

Gallucci says he has no intention of paying any fine, and that he intends to appeal, as Clapperton did successfully.

In the meantime, Inside Croydon suggests that the borough’s drivers should give a wide berth of BP petrol stations – especially Mitcham Road – until the company abandons their punitive policy of fining their customers.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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4 Responses to BP petrol station continues to issue £100 fines to customers

  1. mikebweb says:

    Why bother with a BP Garage when you can buy petrol much cheaper at two local supermarkets and have a car wash as well as shopping for a large range of food and have 3 hours in which to do it!

  2. Do we know of any other BP garages pursuing this absurd policy? Until we know, it’s safest to stay away from them all.

    • From the explanations proffered by BP to Guy Clapperton, when he first alerted us to this, it seems likely that this policy is applied to petrol stations near airports. But as we have also pointed out, Mitcham Road is 20 miles from Gatwick.

      So yes, Peter, safety first for all drivers who don’t want a £100 surcharge on their petrol bills.

  3. Marie Pace says:

    It’s important to make a clear difference between a legitimate Penalty Charge Notice, issued by traffic wardens on behalf of local authorities, and these “Parking Charge Notice”. The name itself and subsequent acronym, and the visual pattern of these “fines” is carefully made to confuse the driver in believing they are genuine. They are not.

    In fact, these are only speculative *invoices*. They are not enforceable unless a court says so, and every one of them should be resisted robustly. This scam (let’s call it what it is) has been going on for years, and every time someone pays up, it encourages this extremely dodgy business model.

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