‘Fight for justice’: pensioners summoned to court after parking for 27 seconds at Leeds Bradford Airport

Pensioners faced court - after parking for 27 seconds at UK airport. (Photo: PA)
Pensioners faced court - after parking for 27 seconds at UK airport. (Photo: PA)

Pensioners Janet and John Ayre have had to “fight for justice” after they were told they would be taken to court for pulling up at a wrong car park for 27 seconds at Leeds Bradford Airport.

The couple, both 77, were arriving at the airport on 17 August last year for a family holiday, driving behind their son Nigel in their blue Audi.

The family had booked car park spots in the long stay car park but they accidentally went through the entrance to the short stay area.

Nigel pulled up and asked a member of staff where to go, and whether they had to pay for pulling up there. John and Janet also pulled up behind him.

Janet told the Yorkshire Evening Post that the assistant told Nigel “it was fine and that he’d open the barrier and let us straight through” with the family not having to pay.

She said: “There was no option to U-turn or progress forwards as the only way forward was through the bus lane which triggers a fine and U-turning would also trigger a fine.

“We stopped because the person in front of us stopped. There was nothing we could do.”

When the couple returned home after their holiday they were landed a £100 parking fine for staying stationary “in a zone where stopping is not permitted”.

They disputed the fine during which they were sent “video evidence” of a man in a completely different car talking on the phone.

Janet and John proceeded to take their complaint to an independent adjudicator who responded saying that they were in favour of the parking company.

The parking operator, Vehicle Control Services (VCS), then informed the couple they would be taken to court over a charge of £255.

The couple said they received several “threatening” emails as they continued to dispute the fine, and the airport had asked LBA had even asked VCS to drop the fine but they wouldn’t.

Janet said the issue has been “very, very stressful” and a “whole year of us fighting these bullies.”

On 4 August the couple received a letter from the parking operator informing them that the charge had been dropped.

Janet added: “There was no apology or anything for what they put us through. The fact they had no regrets means I just despair that there will be a lot more people who are faced with this when they haven’t done anything wrong.”

A spokesperson for LBA confirmed the charge had been waived “based on the individual circumstance”, while Vehicle Control Services did not respond when contacted for a statement.