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Brighton and Hove parking chaos over new prices
8:30am Sunday 1st April 2012 in News
Motorists have accused a council of causing chaos and confusion over new parking prices.
New prices are set to come into force in Brighton and Hove on Sunday and the new tariffs are already featured on the front of pay and display machines but the old prices are being used.
The Argus was inundated with emails and calls yesterday from confused drivers who say they are being ripped off. At Blatchington Road in Hove business editor John Keenan paid 60 pence and received a parking ticket for 30 minutes despite the sign stating that the price was £1 for an hour.
In small letters the sign said the new charges come into effect on April 1.
A woman at a nearby parking meter paid £1 and also received a ticket for 30 minutes.
A resident of Medina Place said she also parked in Blatchington Road on Thursday and paid £1 for an hour but received a ticket for 30 minutes. She said other drivers warned her that traffic wardens were issuing tickets for invalid tickets although they were pur- chased in good faith.
But a traffic warden on patrol in the centre of the city told the Argus reporter that wardens in the area had been told not to enforce the new tariffs for 15 days.
A spokesman for the council denied this. Across the city drivers are confused about the new pricing rules.
One motorist told The Argus: “There could be hundreds of people receiving parking tickets today because of this blunder.
“The parking office at the council just told me that all the machines will be wrong until Sunday, but the wardens ‘shouldn't be giving out tickets if they see that (you) tried to pay for a full hour and only 30 minutes is shown’.
"However, it is apparently the driver's responsibility to challenge a ticket if a parking fine is issued as a result of this mess-up.
How can that be right? And the council is not going to bother to change the machines to correctly issue tickets before the tariff increase on Sunday.” Annette Kettle, owner at the Waves cafe on Madeira Drive said that parking at pay and display machines will soar from £9 a day to £20.
She said: “The council has not thought this through. People will come to us to change a £20 note and we just cannot do that. By the time they have paid for the parking and a trip on the Wheel they will not want to pay for a meal or a snack.”
The council said it is in the process of changing tariff cards in the machines.
A spokeswoman said: “The display on the machines will state the mini- mum and maximum amounts payable when a coin is inserted. Unfortunately, although we realise that it can cause confusion, with 1,180 machines across the city it is impossible to exchange these cards only on the day that the tariffs change, and this is how the changes to charges are always imple- mented.”
She said that if people are having difficulty they can contact the parking team at parking@brighton- hove.gov.uk