80-year-old calls for blue badge rules at Lancing car park to be made clearer
The rules for blue badge holders at Lancing’s Beach Green car park should be made clearer, an 80-year-old resident has said.
His calls come weeks after a new Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system was installed at the car park.
The new system has suffered several operational problems since it was introduced, which have caused many drivers to be fined in error.
The issues have now been fixed – but there has also been confusion at the car park over charging hours.
Lancing Parish Council clarified its position here and confirmed that the signs at the car park would be changed.
Now, resident David Meredith is calling for more clarity for car park users with blue badges.
The 80-year-old was hit with a £50 fine after visiting the car park for 10 minutes on Sunday, January 20.
Mr Meredith had stopped at the car park while he went to check on his beach hut.
He said his blue badge was visibly on display and was shocked to receive the penalty charge notice in the post on Monday.
Mr Meredith, who has lived in Lancing for 14 years, said he was aware that a new system had been introduced at the car park but did not realise that blue badge holders had to register directly with the contractor, District Enforcement, before parking for free.
The sign at the car park currently reads: “Blue badge holders are exempt from Pay on Exit charges once a valid blue badge has been registered.”
But Mr Meredith said: “Registered with who?”
He said of the sign: “It should be made more clear.”
Mr Meredith feared that blue badge holding visitors to the car park from afar would not realise they had to register either.
“We are going to get some poor people who are going to come down for the day, park over there and get a £50 fine,” he said.
Mr Meredith said he had appealed the fine.
He said of the new system at the car park: “It’s a fiasco with the parking ever since they put it in.”
A spokesman for Lancing Parish Council said additional signs advising people how to register their blue badge were put up along the barrier by the disabled parking bays on 14 January.
When asked whether the wording on the permanent signs at the entrance would be made clearer, the spokesman said: “The signs will be amended accordingly once the matter has been discussed at the Council meeting this Wednesday in case any other changes need to be made.”
Residents will have the opportunity to raise questions or concerns about the car park with a representative from District Enforcement at the full council meeting tonight, which takes place at Lancing Parish Hall in South Street at 7pm.