A total of 395 fines were sent out to motorists in error due to problems at the Beach Green car park in Lancing, councillors have been told.
The issues with the introduction of the new ANPR system at the car park were discussed at a Lancing Parish Council meeting on Wednesday.
Problems began when the new system, which was meant to come into play on Monday, January 7, went live days earlier then expected.
Further issues arose when a delayed upload from one of the machines led some drivers to be fined despite entering their details correctly.
Dyl Kurpil, managing director of District Enforcement, the contractor behind the car park, told councillors that 395 penalty charge notices had been sent out in total.
He said they had dealt with more than 400 enquiries from members of the public and confirmed: “We have voided all those incorrectly issued charges.”
This included the 23 motorists who had paid without any challenge.
He said when it became apparent that one of the machines was not communicating correctly it was put out of service. “We put in place a series of measures to prevent it happening again,” he said.
He said the company had reported itself to the IPC (International Parking Community) for the breach and had also contacted the DVLA.
Mr Kurpil said: “We are very sorry this has happened. We are not going to hold back on that.
“We are not here to issue countless charges, what we are trying to do is make it a very effectively run car park.”
Councillor Danny Jackson said: “I appreciate everything you have said and I think you have gone above and beyond, we couldn’t have asked for more.”
Councillors resolved to change the signs at the car park at the meeting.
Councillor Lee Cowen said: “We have to get the confidence back from the community. Mistakes have been made and they need to be rectified.”
Instructions for blue badge holders on the signs needed to be made clearer, councillor Gloria Eveleigh said.
The Herald has previously reported on the confusion caused after a blue badge holder did not realise he had to register his badge with the company.
She proposed the new sign should read: “Disabled parking £1.50 between these hours unless you register on this number.”
She said this would solve the issue of people travelling in from outside the district, adding: “People outside the area wouldn’t necessarily be bothered to register.”
Councillor Lydia Pope asked if there was a way to light up the signs and the machines at night.
She added: “We really want to promote local businesses and the night time economy down on the seafront.
“Penalising people for having a restaurant meal is not good.”
The parish clerk, Helen Plant, said there was limited electricity at the car park but resolved to investigate the possibility of lighting up the signs.
It was confirmed at the meeting that no one would be charged for parking in the car park between the hours of 10pm and 8am – though longterm overnight parking was discouraged.