Villager hits out at £50 fine over free parking hour
Council says ‘free’ tickets must be displayed
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.”