‘Just pay and quit’

I READ with interest your article on Mr Dore, who paid his parking fine with 243 coins (Herald, June 21).

I was issued with a parking ticket on February 29 this year, in one of the four-hour bays on Marine Parade, Worthing.

I paid my £4 using four £1 coins and the machine displayed “maximum amount reached”. My husband was with me and can verify the coinage and the machine display.

I removed my reading glasses and pressed the green button to collect my ticket, which I duly placed in the windscreen of my vehicle.

We had some shopping to do and a pre-arranged appointment at a town centre bank an hour-and-a-half later, hence my choice of a four-hour parking bay.

On my return to the vehicle, I saw that I had a parking charge notice and immediately saw my printed ticket showed I had paid only 20p, affording me just 12 minutes of parking time – no use to man or beast.

My husband rang the fault line and left a message. You can not speak to anyone and no-one returns your calls.

I appealed the parking ticket on the grounds that the machine had incorrectly printed the ticket.

I asked for an audit of the machine and it appears only the tickets issued during the hour in which you park are available.

The ticket issued a few minutes after the 20p entry was for £4.

At no time was I in possession of a 20p and I can categorically state I inserted four coins, all £1 coins.

The appeal process is faceless and unlike other aspects of English law you are guilty from the outset. Throughout all levels of appeal, no consideration is given to any evidence available and my fine leapt from £25 to £50 and then, had I not decided to cut my losses and pay, to £75 plus costs should they be awarded.

I understand the requirement to pay to park and have never flouted this.

I accept that I should have checked my ticket, but having inserted the maximum coinage and seen the machine displaying the maximum sign I checked no further. I will always check and re-check in future.

I would urge anybody who has been issued with a parking charge notice and who has a legitimate dispute with any aspect of it to just pay the £25 and quit.

Lynn Richards

Phrosso Road