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Haywards Heath country pub installs parking meters to deter ramblers
4:40am Wednesday 12th February 2014 in News
A pub manager believes she has just the ticket to stop commuters and ramblers filling up her car park by introducing pay and display machines.
Annie Johns is hoping to bar non-customers from using her pub car park and improve business for the bitter by bringing in ticket machines.
The manager of the Fox and Hounds in Fox Hill outside Haywards Heath made the move after a year of frustration with her car park full while her bar stools remained empty.
She is now in high spirits as the plan to introduce pay and display has been working well for the past fortnight since it was installed by Local Parking Security.
The move is designed to deter ramblers who were parking for free in her car park to visit the surrounding countryside but then not popping in for a pint or a meal afterwards.
The car was also being used by visitors to the town centre and commuters even though the pub is two miles away from Haywards Heath Railway Station.
Mrs Johns said that ticket-dodging motorists were parking up and then jumping on the bus service that runs outside the pub.
The situation had got so bad that even before the pub had opened at 11am on a Saturday or Sunday, there would already be up to ten cars already parked in the car park.
Under the new system, genuine customers will get a refund once they have made a purchase at the bar.
She said: “We have had quite a lot of people just leave their cars.
“We have a lot of ramblers and a lot of people who just catch the bus into Haywards Heath, whether they were going to the station or into the town centre we don’t know.
“They were making the place really busy even if we didn’t have many people in and we were losing business because people would look in and think we will give it a miss because it’s full.
“I have been here a year and it has always been a problem and we have been losing a lot of business because of it.
“If a genuine customer does get a ticket then we can just ring up with the ticket number and get it cancelled.”