‘That is disgusting’: Driver fined £100 for staying in car park for just four minutes

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A car park at a Cornish seaside spot has left locals and tourists facing hundreds of pounds worth of fines, even if they don’t park there. The Sea View Car Park in New Polzeath, near Padstow, has been fitted with new automated licence plate reading cameras that scan number plates as soon as motorists enter.

The operator is not allowing any leeway time to find a parking space, meaning that many drivers have been stung by fines.

Some drivers have been hit with fines of £100 just for driving in and out of the car park a couple of minutes later.

The car park, operated by Newquay-based Alliance Parking, has proved so confusing for people that it has led to rising anger in the area.

Some frustrated motorists have blasted the car park, calling it “a scam”.

One regular user, Hazel Belle Thompson, posted in the We Love Rock and Polzeath Facebook group, complaining about the new camera-operated rules.

They said: “As soon as you drive in, your car and reg are taken. 

“I work locally and got caught out for being 14 minutes over even though I spend £40 at least every week in this car park. 

“I lost a full day’s wages in a parking fine for 14 minutes over.”

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Vicks Campion added: “My poor mum got a ticket as she sat in the car while I dropped a wetsuit off at Ann’s cottage.

“We were precisely four minutes and 20 seconds.”

The growing local anger comes as the sign at the car park is confusing about the times the facility is in operation. 

The sign says people have to pay from 7am until 11pm with no grace period – not even of up to 30 minutes as is the case at many other car parks, according to Cornwall Live.

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Resident Louise Wonnacott said there is a right of way across the car park to where she lives but she’s been clocked four times ‘not parking’ but driving through in the last few months for ‘not parking’ when she just drove through.

However further down it also says that a £100 parking fine will be incurred if a driver parks there from 10pm until 6am even though they are allowed to park until 11pm. 

Motorhomes, campervans, caravans and trailers are also banned and if they don’t park within the line and the wheel of the car touches the lines even a bit, they can be hit with a £100 fine.

It also says that payment should start the second they arrive until the time they leave with – it insists – no grace period for the first 30 minutes.

That means – as some punters have discovered – that if they drive in but can’t find a parking space and leave a minute later, they could still be fined £100.

Melanie Phippen said: “That is disgusting. Not a good image for tourism. 

“I would just go to another beach, and people will park along roadsides and just make the roads congested instead of risking a £100 fine, which is a lot to find unexpectedly.”

Alliance Parking said they were made aware of the typo on their sign regarding the 10pm/11pm confusion and insisted it has now been corrected.

The firm denied that anyone has ever been fined for parking after 10pm as it was Alliance Parking’s own mistake. They also insisted that no-one had ever been fined for simply driving in and out.

In a statement the company said: “We are aware to the minor typo on the signage, and it was corrected early Saturday morning. Zero tickets have been issued for parking after 10pm where payment has been made. As the software is set to honour payments made up to 11pm, no-one has been ‘tripped up’ on this basis.

“Also, no parking charges have been issued for simply driving in and out.”

Express.co.uk has contacted Alliance Parking for a further comment.

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