Motorist’s holiday woe as airport parking leads to speeding warning

A holidaymaker, who left his car with a ‘meet and greet’ airport parking company, returned from a Greek island getaway to find that his car had been involved in a speeding incident in his absence.

Chris Lynch discovered the motoring offence – which had been committed in his Vauxhall Corsa – had taken place in Crawley, West Sussex on 9th July 2016, where his vehicle had been spotted driving at 37mph in a 30 mph area. At the time Mr Lynch had been sunning himself in Rhodes with his girlfriend and was shocked to discover what had happened when he received an official caution letter from the police.

Mr Lynch had paid £78 for the meet and greet airport service, which also included parking off-site at a location just a short distance from the airport.

However, on his return, he found that his car had clocked an additional 150 miles and was low on petrol, despite having filled up just before flying on holiday.

Mr Lynch was unsuccessful in his attempts to contact the meet and greet company and West Sussex County Council is now investigating the incident together with more than 500 other claims of rogue airport parking schemes.

Jeremy Sirrell, a partner and motoring offences specialist with Palmers said: “Mr Lynch’s vehicle was reported for speeding as a result of a local Community Speedwatch initiative, where members of the public monitor vehicle speeds using detection devices, with the aim of referring those exceeding the legal limit to the Police.

“As this was just a report, no driving offence was deemed to have been committed, although the official letter made it clear that the warning would be held for 12 months and investigated further should Mr Lynch’s vehicle come to their attention again.

“However, if a speed camera had caught Mr Lynch’s car breaking the 30 mph speed limit, he would in all likelihood have faced a fixed fine of £100 and 3 penalty points on his licence as a minimum. In such circumstances he would have been required to prove that he was not at the wheel of the vehicle at the time the offence was committed.”

Jeremy continued: “Many motorists are unaware that they are able to contest speeding tickets and are entitled to reject the notice, although this will result in a court summons. Anyone who believes they have been wrongly accused of speeding, be it an incorrect speed gun reading, the late receipt of a notice of intended prosecution or, as in this case, the fact that they were not the driver of the vehicle at the time, should contest the charge in court, with appropriate professional legal advice from a specialist motoring offences solicitor.”

For more information on legal advice relating to all aspects of motoring offences, please contact us.