Vil­lager hits out at £50 fine over free park­ing hour

Coun­cil says ‘free’ tick­ets must be dis­played

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Tom Herbert tom.herbert@trin­i­tymir­

A DIS­GRUN­TLED vil­lager has warned peo­ple to be aware of car park reg­u­la­tions af­ter he was hit with a £50 fine for not dis­play­ing a park­ing ticket.

Keith Gil­lard, 66, of Rick­mansworth Lane, in Chal­font St Peter, parked in the Church Lane car park in the vil­lage while he was on his way to vol­un­teer for the Red Cross.

But when he re­turned to his car he was sur­prised to see he had a penalty for not dis­play­ing a ticket, de­spite park­ing be­ing free in the car park for the first hour.

He said: “I was parked in the car park of Chal­font St Peter and it says it’s free for the first hour and on the ba­sis of that I didn’t go to the ma­chine.”

The sit­u­a­tion has left him feel­ing ‘frus­trated’, and he has called into ques­tion the coun­cil’s pol­icy.

“Chiltern Dis­trict Coun­cil (CDC) is en­cour­ag­ing cus­tomers to come to the town by hav­ing an hour’s free park­ing,” he said.

“Bud­gens [in Mar­ket Place] has a free hour park­ing and you don’t have to buy a ticket there.

“I just as­sumed that this is what they would do and mon­i­tor and say how long I have parked there.”

Mr Gil­lard, who de­scribes him­self as a ‘law abid­ing citizen’, says it was a gen­uine mis­take but wants oth­ers in the vil­lage to be aware.

He said: “I just think the coun­cil is be­ing to­tally un­rea­son­able.

“Peo­ple need to be made aware and I won­der how many other peo­ple have been caught in three years for not dis­play­ing a ticket.”

Mr Gil­lard says there were other peo­ple in the car park who were in the same sit­u­a­tion, which he took to be ev­i­dence the signs are not clear.

A spokesman for CDC said: “Sig­nage in all our car parks is very clear, and the re­quire­ment to dis­play a ticket at this par­tic­u­lar site for the free hour has been in place for many, many years.

“That re­quire­ment is dis­played not only on sin­gle signs, but also on the large tar­iff board where it ap­pears in red print for fur­ther clar­ity.

“Our at­ten­dants op­er­ate be­tween dif­fer­ent car parks through­out the day, so the pur­pose of dis­play­ing a ticket – whether it’s for a free hour or not – is that they know when the park­ing time is up.

“The days of hav­ing one at­ten­dant in one car park all day are long gone.

“While we un­der­stand why Mr Gil­lard may be an­noyed that he in­curred a fine, we do not ac­cept his claims that the sig­nage is at fault.”

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