Driver’s anger on parking charges

A PHOTOGRAPHER says he is “absolutely livid” at receiving a parking ticket after new charges were introduced in Belper in the evenings.

Ashley Franklin, 56, from Milford, intends to challenge the issuing of the ticket on the grounds that he was told by Amber Valley Borough Council to appeal. He claims this is an acceptance by the council that he should not have got it, which the authority denies.

Mr Franklin was left with a £25 fine after parking in Green Lane car park on October 26, where drivers now have to pay to park in the evenings.

He says he had no idea that evening charges had been introduced on October 5, claiming the council’s efforts in telling the people of the borough about the new fees were “disgracefully lacking”.

Mr Franklin fumed: “My complaint was based on the fact that the warning given about the introduction of evening car parking charges in the borough was woefully inadequate. As an evening charge has never, until now, been imposed in the entire history of car parking provision in the borough, I parked the car and left the car park. There was no reason for me to approach or even gaze at the ticket machine or any notice informing me of a new charge.”

After receiving the ticket he looked for a warning notice about evening charges. He said an A2-size notice was displayed at the exit from the car park.

Mr Franklin said: “My knowledge of the new evening charge on the night I parked was dependent on the slight possibility of my catching sight of an anonymous-looking notice in small type.”

He feels the council ought to have informed restaurants so they could warn customers. He said: “Had there been a notice at the entrance to the café I was eating at, I could have returned to the car park and purchased a ticket.”

A council spokesman said : “We don’t comment on individual cases but we advise people who believe they have been incorrectly issued with a ticket to challenge this through the appeal process. We did offer an initial period of grace after the introduction of the evening charges, which we accept are always going to be unpopular, but we met with all requirements in terms of consulting about the changes with the public.”