Fringe Box



Letter: Incorrect Car Park Penalty Notice Highlights High Charges

Published on: 6 Jul, 2014
Updated on: 6 Jul, 2014
Paid and displayed notice1From Bernard Parke
Last Friday against my better judgement I reluctantly drove my car into the town centre because time was short and I had received a request from a residents’ group  to attend a meeting of some importance..
As the council office car park was full I was forced to park in the adjacent Millmead car park and pay the asking fee of £3.20 for a two-hour period.
In fact, I had to part with £3.50 as most Guildford Borough Council machines do not dispense change.
The meeting terminated well within the time limited taking just one hour and forty minutes.
You can imagine how surprised I was to be greeted with the sight of a  yellow penalty notice affixed to my windscreen.
I was fortunately able to pass through the rush hour traffic in time and speak to the staff in the parking office at Bedford Road and point out that my allotted parking period was still valid despite the indignity of being unjustly  fined.
We must always accept that errors can be made but, on reflection, the parking charge was well over £1.60 per hour.
Are such levies  contrary to the aims of revitalising our High Street when a  a neighbouring town only charges 60p per hour and perhaps their machines might even give out change ?
Bernard Parke is an Hon Alderman, a former Borough Councillor and Mayor of Guildford.

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Responses to Letter: Incorrect Car Park Penalty Notice Highlights High Charges

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    July 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Guildford parking. Hon Alderman Parke does not actually tell us the result of his personal representation at the Parking Office and whether he has had to attempt the adversarial adjudication process.

    Given his previous service to Guildford borough it’s strange he does not understand the council’s well known attitude that parking is not a service for residents and visitors, but a revenue stream, allegedly for funding unwanted and unnecessary parking ‘improvements’.

  2. Sally Parrott Reply

    July 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Am I correct in thinking Mr Parke had a valid ticket, correctly displayed in his windscreen, but was nevertheless given a penalty notice? If so, I think this is serious.

    Visitors to the town, especially foreign tourists, and those without internet access and/or a knowledge of how to dispute the charge, might be left with a very poor impression of Guildford.

    For the sake of the reputation of our town, and the sanity of drivers, would it not be possible for Guildford Borough Councilto employ people with good eyesight and the ability to tell the time?

  3. Bernard Parke Reply

    July 6, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Ms Parrot’s assumption is correct.

    I was aware, when working as a local banker some years back, that a customer of mine who traded from rather a nice, up market fashion shop would offer to pay any parking penalty to ensure that her sale was not lost.

    I think that we can assume that Guildford’s parking charges are taken into consideration by visitors to the town.

  4. Brian Holt Reply

    July 7, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    A public explanation from the Parking Office explaining how a car displaying a parking ticket was issued a fixed Penalty Notice, would be welcome.

    Sticking fixed Penalty notices on vehicles that are displaying a valid parking ticket is serious. How many times has that official done it before?

    I go to other towns where parking is cheaper. A few months ago it was only £2.50 for all day parking in any car-park in Crawley Town centre on Saturdays. Even Windsor is cheaper.

  5. Bernard Parke Reply

    July 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I rejected an offer of a written apology from the parking office in favour of a simple verbal apology.

    The main issue here is are our parking charges tending to effect the retail trade within our Borough?

    I am reluctant to drive and park in the town centre having to transverse congested through traffic and then have to pay the local standard parking fees.

    On the question of traffic congestion, I always try to return home when from Ladymead before 3.30pm to avoid adding to CO2 emissions, and as for Walnut Tree Close the less said the better.

    There is no pleasure in driving anymore in this area, and before anyone says why don’t I use the Onslow Park & Ride I would be inclined to say “No Comment”. In fact who does use it?

    We must get rid of the through traffic and fiddling with the gyratory system is not the answer.

    Let us all strive to put the quality of life back into Guildford, not so much for our us but for or children and our children’s children.

    That also goes for the protection of the green belt.

    We are merely the trustees of our inheritance.

  6. Barry Arnfield Reply

    July 9, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    This seems to be a common thread running through local authority controlled car parks.

    I recently appealed, all the way to arbitration, a parking ticket issued to my son at Woking Leisure Car Park. My son actually works at the Swimming Pool as a life guard. At the arbitration, Woking Borough Council fell at the first fence in that the penalty charge of £70.00 breached the statutory charge of £50.00 for this particular breach, overstaying the four-hour limit. My appeal was upheld and the ticket quashed.

    A Freedom of Information Act request for the number of tickets issued at this car park revealed in excess of 3000 tickets issued. I felt that these people had been charged illegally issued ticket. I contacted The Woking News and Mail to see if they wished to do justice to the Woking residents, but nothing has been heard of since.

    I feel very strongly that local authority off road car-parks should be pay on exit then these breaches would cease to exist and the motorist would be fairly charged for the time he was there. Also it would save the cost of the enforcement official. There are a number of other issues with this car park which unfortunately time and space do not permit me to explain.

  7. Raineee Wornham Reply

    July 10, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I would like to know why the traffic warden did this and what the out come of his/her wrongfully issuing a ticket is going to be. I think Mr Parke should be given compensation.

    • Martin Giles Reply

      July 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Mr Parke has stated that he declined the offer of a written apology, by staff at GBC’s car-park office, accepting instead a verbal one.

      • Jim Allen Reply

        July 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm

        So, there is no formal record of the maladministration?

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