Motorists handed fines for visiting Covid-19 car park test centre

A Covid-19 mobile test centre sign

A Covid-19 mobile test centre sign - Credit: PA

"Miscommunication" has resulted in penalty charge notices being issued to drivers visiting the Covid-19 testing centre in East Finchley station's car park. 

The notices were issued to customers who had failed to purchase a parking ticket, when fees should have been waived for people getting tested.

One driver, Daniel Brick, said: “I got a penalty charge notice from the NCP (National Car Parks) and I realised when I looked at the date and the time it was a drive-in Covid-19 test centre, and I went on the local Facebook group and there’s a whole hoo-ha about it.  

“One person went in with different members of the family and got five of these. So, obviously if it’s a drive-in centre and the instructions from the NHS are not to leave your vehicle, how are you supposed to pay for your parking?” 

Daniel said the notice came as a shock, and that it acted as a double-whammy given he was only in the car park due to concerns he had caught the virus. 

He said: “It’s bad enough you get Covid-19, but you then get a fine as well for doing what the government tells you in getting tested.” 

Cllr Arjun Mittra, a Labour councillor for East Finchley, said: “It is wrong for residents to have been charged for driving into the car park to undertake Covid tests. I have written to TfL asking them to cancel these tickets and look forward to receiving a positive response from them.” 

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NCP, which operates the car park for TfL, is cancelling all penalty charge notices issued during the time the car park was used as a testing centre. 

A TfL spokesperson said: “We can confirm that enforcement should have been suspended whilst the testing was taking place. NCP has cancelled all PCNs issued over this period and any paid PCNs will be refunded directly back to the customer as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience that this has caused.”

An NCP spokesperson said: “Due to a miscommunication, NCP was not aware of the decision to suspend enforcement over the days the testing was taking place. TfL has confirmed this to be the case and NCP will cancel all PCN issued over this period, and apologises for the concern this has caused.

“All PCNs are now cancelled, and any paid PCNs will be refunded directly back to the customer.”