Excel Parking: New firm taking over at Berkeley Centre in Sheffield after ticketing rows
The car park has sparked a string of controversies
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Excel Parking has been replaced at a popular shopping centre in Sheffield following months of problems. Property manager Workman LLP has called in Bank Park to take over Berkeley Centre on popular Ecclesall Road. New signs will appear by Thursday August 3, The Star understands.
Berkeley Centre is notorious for complex rules and signs which have been criticised as ‘ludicrously over-written’. Drivers have also reported struggles with allegedly faulty machines and a sluggish payment app. Excel also insisted payment had to be within 10 minutes of arrival - but kept this secret until The Star campaigned for clarity and signs were altered.
Excel initially demands £100, with threats of debt collectors and court action for breaking the rules. It has dropped several cases following exposure in The Star. It also suffered a court defeat when a judge threw out a case over a partial registration number, amid claims of a faulty machine.
Excel subsidiary VCS caused a stir recently when it overruled a Sheffield church’s request to cancel a ticket issued on its own land, insisting: “The decision solely rests with us.”
It also demanded £255 from a Sheffield pensioner who stopped for less than a minute to read a sign at East Midlands Airport. The airport stepped in and cancelled it.
In January, Excel apologised after faulty machines at Broomhill rooftop parking sent dodgy £100 demands to drivers with valid tickets. It did not say how many were issued or over what period. One victim vowed never to shop there again. Industry regulator, International Parking Community, said it investigated and the issue was ‘resolved’ but gave no details. It is funded by parking firms including Excel. A similar problem was reported at the site 13 years ago.
The government last year published plans for a new code of practice, lower charges and an independent appeals service to clamp down on 'rogue parking firms' targeting drivers with 'unfair and extortionate charges'. But operators mounted a legal challenge and they were withdrawn pending further consultation.
In March, the RAC Foundation said private parking was set to become a billion-pound a year industry as the number of tickets hit an all-time high. It prompted claims of a ‘feeding frenzy’ ahead of anticipated new legislation.
Sheffield MP Clive Betts has urged government to “get a move on”. The department for levelling up said it hoped to launch new consultation before Parliament’s summer recess.