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parking fines burges hillFury Over Council's Discrimination On The Issuing
Of Parking Fines In Mid Sussex

11th October 2014
By Peter Chapman

Earlier this year, Chris Daley was fined £50 by Mid Sussex District Council when she failed to park fully within a marked bay in the Multistorey car park at the Martlets, Burgess Hill.

Chris had to park at an angle because the car park was flooded (as it often is) and needed to avoid one of the numerous deep, filthy puddles. Instead of the council being grateful that someone would attempt the use their dangerous car park, they slapped her with the fine, even though she had purchased a valid ticket.

When asked about the issuing of the fine by the Argus newspaper,
Councillor Gary Marsh, cabinet member for property and economic development, said: “It is a legal requirement to park within the marked bays and this is made quite clear within our car parks.

"If, for any reason, a driver feels that they cannot park wholly within a certain bay, it is their responsibility to find a bay where they can park within the lines."

So then good readers, with this in mind, we skip forward to Monday September 8th. At the Kings Street Car Park, East Grinstead, a number of 'travellers' parked up, preventing other members of the public from using the facility.

There was fury on the Mid Sussex Disitrct Council Facebook page when MSDC failed to address if parking fines had been issued to the travellers. Much like Chris Daley in Burgess Hill, these vehicles weren't parked within the marked bays, but they didn't have flooding as an excuse.

kings street car park east ginstead
The scene at Kings Street Car Park on Monday 8th September

Kim Mitchell wrote: If this had been anyone else, a fine would have been issued. If I go to the car park tomorrow and do not pay and display, I will get a ticket. You can see why the tax paying public are querying such inconsistencies.

Steve Hall:
If I go a few minutes over my parking time, I get fined, if the travellers haven't been issued with penalty notices and they have not been enforced, I don't see why I should pay ever again, indeed, I think I'm owed a refund.

With MSDC refusing to comment, your reporter sent off a Freedom of Information request, asking how many parking fines had been issued for this particular car park and the reasons for each one.

Now, such a request wouldn't take very long to fulfill. However, Mid Sussex District Council chose to wait until the final afternoon of the 20 working day limit to provide an answer, most likely knowing the public anger would be lessened by then. Sneaky.

Unsurprisingly, their data showed that ZERO parking tickets had been issued.

So ladies and gentlemen, do you think this is fair? Do the council have an unwritten rule that campervans and vehicles with caravans attached are entitled to free parking in their car parks? If everyone is supposed to be treated equally, then Mid Sussex District Council are discriminating against certain members of the community.

We are currently awaiting a comment from the council on this issue.

In the meantime, here's a section of the Autotrader website that you may find useful... http://motorhomes.autotrader.co.uk/ You're welcome!

Spread the word... Free parking for motorhomes in Mid Sussex!

Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below....
Do you think it's fair that Mid Sussex have show discrimintation on the issuing of parking fines? Should the council now update their signage to let people know who is more likely to get fined for using their car parks?

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