Findon man calls for another Worthing car-park change

A man has vowed to fight a penalty charge he received in a Worthing town-centre car park.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 4:50 pm
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 9:55 am

Neil Winton, 76, of Findon, was originally hit with a £25 fine on July 30, after not realising the Montague Centre car park in Liverpool Road, Worthing, had been changed from ‘pay-when-you-leave’ to pay-and-display.

Worthing Borough Council made the change to the 120-bay car park after taking it previous operator CP Plus last year.

Forbes journalist Mr Winton said he attempted to pay the £1.30 parking ticket at the end of his stay at the car park but was surprised to see the system had changed and found a £25 penalty on his car – which later increased to £50 as he had to wait for the official letter from the council to arrive. The fine could increase by a further £25 if he does not pay.

Neil Winton was fined £50 with potential to rise to £75 after falling foul to new pay system at Montague Centre car park, Liverpool Road, Worthing. Pic S Robards

Mr Winton has appealed the fine twice, unsuccessfully. But he said: “I still plan to fight this. I was trying to pay. The system is deliberately designed to force people to pay for more than they use, unlike the previous system which was fair. There was insufficient notice they changed the system.”

Mr Winton said he had been a regular user of the but had visited very rarely during the pandemic.

He said: “For my sake and for other people’s sake, the council should revert back to the previous system.

“The previous system was fine because you paid for what you used, there was no guessing and no problem about over-staying because you didn’t have to pay until you left. That was such a fair system and they need to go back to it.”

Neil Winton was fined £50 with potential to rise to £75 after falling foul to new pay system at Montague Centre car park, Liverpool Road, Worthing. Pic S Robards

Worthing Borough Council issued apologies and refunds to people who were caught out by the change when it was made last year.

A spokesperson for Worthing Borough Council said: “Worthing Borough Council took ownership of the Montague Centre car park from CP Plus in August 2020. It carried out improvements including installing new machines and repainting the bays and lines.

“The 120-space car park also changed to pay-and-display, meaning customers are required to pay in advance for their stay, rather than at the end, with cash or a bank card at the meters, by text or through the MiPermit app. The change to paying in advance is clearly advertised with ten signs across the car park, including one at every pay station.”

Neil Winton was fined £50 with potential to rise to £75 after falling foul to new pay system at Montague Centre car park, Liverpool Road, Worthing. Pic S Robards SR2110031 SUS-211013-171614001
Neil Winton was fined £50 with potential to rise to £75 after falling foul to new pay system at Montague Centre car park, Liverpool Road, Worthing. Pic S Robards