Lancing Parish Council has confirmed that the new system at Beach Green car park is now working correctly, following problems which saw several drivers fined in error.
Problems began when a new Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system, which was supposed to be introduced at the car park on Monday, January 7, went live days earlier than expected.
This caused some innocent drivers to be issued with penalty charge notices.
A spokesman Lancing Parish Council, which owns the car park, said all fines issued before January 7 had been voided by the contractor, District Enforcement, but urged drivers to contact the company ‘for further confirmation of this and for their peace of mind’.
However issues continued to arise at the car park.
Denny Weller, from Henfield, told the Herald that he was fined after he used the car park on Monday, January 7 – despite getting a ticket through the new ANPR system as required.
The 65-year-old was visiting the area for a coffee at the Perch cafe with a friend from Shoreham.
After noticing the new ticket machines and camera at the car park entrance, he followed the instructions and at 11.47am paid the required daily charge of £1.50 just before leaving the car park.
But several days later on January 14, to his ‘shock and surprise’ Mr Weller received a penalty charge notice of £50 directly from District Enforcement, stating that he had left the car park at 11.50am without having paid.
He said: “It’s very annoying, I don’t usually get things like this through the post and I hate getting something like this.
“A £50 fine and I’ve done nothing wrong. It’s just ridiculous.”
Fortunately Mr Weller had kept hold of his parking ticket and sent it off to appeal by email immediately.
He said of the issue: “Clearly there seems to be no connection between the camera and the ticket machine, as my ticket shows my registration and time of purchase.
“The onus is all on me to argue it, I just feel that’s not right.”
He said the experience had put him off returning to Beach Green.
“I certainly won’t be going back to that car park, which is sad really, because the cafe is so nice,” he said.
However on Friday, Mr Weller said he received an email from District Enforcement confirming that his penalty notice charge had been cancelled.
A spokesman from Lancing Parish Council said District Enforcement had confirmed that the new ANPR system had been working correctly as of last week.
The spokesman said on Friday: “Whilst the live date was advertised as 7 January, there were some issues with the system error that occurred from the previous week that did fall into last week as well.
“Drivers need to contact District Enforcement to confirm whether they were caught up with this system error or not for confirmation that the PCN will be voided and for their own peace of mind.”
The Herald has approached District Enforcement for a comment.