NCP apologises 'profusely' after locking Sheffield car park early

A parking firm has apologised after staff locked up a Sheffield car park an hour early leaving drivers stranded.

Thursday, 24th November 2016, 14:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 10:51 am
Campo Lane car park, Sheffield.

Emma Dornan was visiting the city from her home in Huddersfield to see a talk from artist Grayson Perry.

She left her car in the NCP car park in Campo Lane, thinking she would have plenty of time to get back before it closed at midnight.

Opening times at Campo Lane car park, Sheffield.

But when the show finished and she returned to the car park, she was horrified to find it locked, with no sign of any staff.

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She rang the NCP emergency line and was put on hold for about half an hour before getting through. She then phoned the police on 101, worried for her safety.

Eventually an NCP security guard turned up to unlock the car park, by which point it was past midnight.

Emma, 43, said: "My main concern was that the consequences of closing the car park early could have been very serious and when we finally did get the security guy out, he really didn't seem bothered.

Opening times at Campo Lane car park, Sheffield.

"He was so matter of fact about closing it as though it was something that was normal and he did all the time.

"I told him I had to involve the police and that I had been waiting for nearly an hour on my own, and again there was pretty much no reaction and of course no apology.

"If that is the level of security that NCP employ, then I would be very apprehensive about using them again. He genuinely seemed to find the whole thing amusing."

After contact from The Star, NCP apologised to Emma, sent a bunch of flowers and offered some free parking. But this was over a week after she had initially logged a complaint.

"It was only because The Star made contact with them that the complaint was addressed," she said.

"I had a great evening, catching up with friends and going to the theatre. NCP thoroughly spoilt it, and what should have been an enjoyable evening, potentially could have ended up going very wrong."

NCP has seven car parks in Sheffield. A spokesman said: "We apologise profusely for the situation that our customer found herself in when she returned to the car park last week.

"We have been very concerned to hear that the car park was closed early, this was not agreed by NCP and so we have launched an internal investigation to understand why the car park was shut before advertised closing times.

"We understand that there were roadworks in place, but the car park should have been open to our customers until midnight, as always. We are contacting this customer who was directly affected to offer our sincere apologies."

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