Frimley motorists still being hit by ‘harsh penalties for petty offences’

Drivers using Cedar Lane car park, in Frimley, say they continue to to be ticketed unfairly or over zealously penalised for 'petty offences'

Motorists are continuing their fight against "harsh penalties for petty offences" in a Frimley car park.

The parking problems have continued even though a private company has now taken over its management.

Cedar Lane Car Park, in Frimley High Street, was taken over by Creative Parking Solutions in March 2013.

The pay-and-display scheme was replaced by an automatic number plate recognition and a pay-by-phone scheme, granting users of the car park 20 minutes of free parking.

Cameras scan the number plate when cars enter the car park, then users enter their number plate into the machine and pay the fee, which should be paid within 10 minutes of arrival.

Previously, Capital 2 Coast Security Ltd operated in the car park, a clamping company that clamped shoppers for minor offences. Car park users could be charged up to £100 to have the clamp removed.

However, in October 2012, Surrey Heath borough councillors and Surrey Heath MP Michael Gove took the fight to Westminster, which ruled to outlaw clamping on private land.

This week users of the car park have said they are still continuing to be ticketed unfairly, or over zealously penalised for being over their allotted time or for parking over the lines.

Denis Fuller, Surrey councillor for Camberley West, said: “The rules are far more stringent with private car parks then if you park in a council car park.

“People are not careful enough when they go to a private car park. My plea is to not blame Frimley like some people are doing and the council.

“If people want to go to a car park and not pay then they will get caught out, but if you go along and pay you do run the risk of being penalised. Everything should be absolutely clear. However you should not be penalised for minor infringements.”

Parking penalties

Robin Pellatt was fined £100 after parking in Cedar Lane Car Park during a visit to Camberley in September last year. He paid for three hours of parking, but paid for each hour separately as he did not know how long he would be parked for.

Mr Pellatt received a fine for £100 a month later, sent by Civil Enforcement Ltd, saying he had not paid in accordance with the terms displayed on the signage. He was given a photo of his car leaving the car park.

A Creative Parking Solutions spokesman said: “Cedar Lane is a busy car park. For this reason, we were instructed to manage the flow of cars using the car park by installing the very latest automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system.

“It is a reliable and effective way to monitor the duration of a vehicle’s stay and notices are only issued to those who exceed their time allocation, 20 minutes free parking is all permitted.”

Penalties for breaches, which include exceeding the maximum parking time
allowance, parking longer than the period paid for or not entering the full vehicle registration number correctly, incur charges of £100, which is reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.

Cllr David Allen, Surrey Heath Borough Council member for Frimley Green, said: “The company gives tickets to those people whose wheels are over the line and if you are over by a minute or two, they will ticket you. It has only been an issue in the last six months.

"We are trying to do as much as we can, but we are also appealing to drivers for them to be responsible and not disregard the regulations.”

Source: GetSurrey

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