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.
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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