PEOPLE are still being chased for fines by the operators of a car park which has been ordered to shut down by Bradford Council, it has emerged.

The Council had received a host of complaints about the way private car park company Smart Parking was running the site at Oastler Road, Saltaire, and Shipley MP Philip Davies raised the matter in Parliament, accusing the Birmingham-based company of “ripping off” motorists with “draconian fines”.

Earlier this week, Council bosses revealed they had written to Smart Parking ordering it to close down its operations on the site and refund all fines handed out so far, saying they would take legal action against the company if necessary.

But one couple stung by Smart Parking, Sandra and Phillip Royle, of Woodlands Road, Queensbury, say they still cannot get their fine dropped.

The couple didn’t realise they had to register for the free 20-minute stay offered at the car park when using it back in June.

They were originally sent a fine wrongly claiming they had parked in the Toscana Retail Park’s car park in Bangor, County Down, in Northern Ireland - a mix-up which other motorists have highlighted in the past.

They later received confirmation that this fine had been dropped, but were then sent an updated fine giving the Saltaire car park’s address.

The couple have refused to pay and have since been sent three debt collector’s letters chasing a payment of £160, including late payment fees.

Mrs Royle said: “We have got a letter today saying, ‘You haven’t paid it and you can pay it in three instalments’, which I am sorry, they are not getting.”

She said they phoned up the debt collectors to say the car park was under orders to close and refund all fines, but the debt collectors dismissed their argument and said the fine stood.

Smart Parking has yet to respond to repeated requests for comment from the Telegraph & Argus about whether it will be closing the site and refunding fines.

Bosses at Bradford Council stepped in to order a halt to Smart Parking’s operations after discovering the car park had never been given legal standing and is still officially part of the public highway.

But this meant the Council itself - which ran the car park under lease from 2004 until earlier this year - also has fines of its own to refund.

Bradford Council is now trying to trace and repay anyone it has fined in years gone by. To make enquiries, phone Parking Services on 01274 431000 or email

The Council is also making a payment of £1,000 to Saltaire Festival as a gesture of goodwill.