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Pay-park failure fines in Brighton and Hove spark council apology
Nearly 200 motorists may have wrongly received parking tickets after a technical problem caused a new pay-by-phone system to crash.
Brighton and Hove City Council is investigating after the systems failure which affected machines on Sunday.
It is now in the process of contacting the 181 drivers who used the system during the day to see if they require a refund.
The problem was brought to light after Nick Bushrod contacted The Argus when he was given a ticket.
The council initially said no fault had been found but later confirmed there was a “systems failure” adding technicians were investigating as a “matter of urgency”.
Mr Bushrod visited Brighton on Sunday with his family to do a spot of sightseeing.
He paid for parking using the new system only to later find a traffic warden issuing him with a ticket.
The warden said the system had crashed and if a ticket had been purchased it would be up to Mr Bushrod to challenge the fine.
He said: “My children started crying as they thought their daddy was in trouble with the police.
“So instead of leaving Brighton with memories of happiness, I left blood boiling, feeling downright abused and with a very upset four-year-old.
“What a lovely way to end a day by the sea...”
He added: “You would think if they knew they had system issues they would stop issuing tickets. But no, it seems the burden of proof lies with the motorist.”
The council introduced the Pay by Phone system at selected parking machines across the city on September 16.
Smartphone owners simply use a special app to pay for parking by using a unique code relating to a location.
The system failure follows earlier problems in which motorists were overcharged by three times.
A spokesman for the council said: “We’d like to apologise to
Mr Bushrod and to anyone else who wrongly received a penalty charge notice after using our pay-by-phone parking system on Sunday.
“Because of a technical problem some of our parking staff were carrying out their duties without all the information they needed.
“While they acted in good faith based on the information they had, in a small number of cases penalty charge notices were wrongly given out.”
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