Motorists have been left out of pocket after they were told they cannot redeem obsolete parking vouchers.

The decision to drop voucher parking in favour of pay and display in central Brighton was made in July last year.

Many residents have been left with the parking vouchers and cannot get their money back.

They say shops had not displayed notices saying the vouchers could no longer be used.

Roy Banks, of Seaside Avenue, Lancing, and his business partner Robert Clint, of RNAC Plumbing and Property, bought the vouchers from shops to use while on plumbing jobs in Brighton and Hove.

They bought in bulk to save time and money but have since discovered the £300 worth of vouchers they have are no longer valid.

When Mr Clint went to the parking office in North Road, Brighton, to claim the money back he was told he could not.

Mr Banks said: "This is a lot of money to us and is leaving us out of pocket. We are having to put up to £10 a day in the parking meters when we do jobs."

Mr Banks said he was told that the city council put notices in The Argus and in the windows of shops which sold the vouchers but he said he had not seen anything about it.

He said: "I am sure there must be lots more people in the same position.

The girl in the parking office told me they were receiving lots of complaints about this.

"If we do not get anything back, where is this money going? There are lots of small businesses out there and they need to park like we do. I think it's disgraceful we can't get a refund."

A city council spokesman said: "The change was decided at a council policy committee in July 2006.

This enshrined the end of voucher parking and, importantly, that no refunds would be given.

"The end of voucher parking was mentioned in a legal notice that appeared in The Argus advertising changes to the central parking zone that happened this year. It was subsequently mentioned in The Argus's extensive coverage of the central parking zone story.

"Posters and leaflets were also produced for display in all the places selling vouchers. Until the end of June vouchers could have been used in pay and display bays instead of buying tickets in machines."

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