December 11 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
More than 340 motorists using a Sudbury car park during the past year have been fined for failing to park within the lines.
The fixed penalties of between £25 and £55 were handed out by Babergh District Council to people using the car parks in Station Road, which allow drivers to park free for up to three hours as long as they display a ticket.
According to figures released by the authority under a Freedom of Information request, 342 people were fined for not parking straight in the bay, 2851 were penalised for not having a ticket on show, while a further 713 were caught out because their free tickets had expired.
Thirty six people received fines for ignoring the directional arrows and entry/exit signs while another 36 were hit for using blue badge bays when they were not entitled to.
Sudbury businessman David Holland, who wrote to Babergh after several of his customers complained about the “confusing” car park rules, said the figures proved that people were getting “caught out” by a raft of petty rules. He said: “The data indicates that people are not predominantly being fined for misdeeds but instead for forgetting to take a free ticket or for silly things like parking with one wheel over the line or exiting the wrong way. It shows how unfair the current system is and suggests most parking woes in Sudbury are unintended consequences of council decisions.”
But Babergh’s lead member for economic development Simon Barrett said motorists needed to take some responsibility for the problems. He added: “We are lucky to still have free parking in Sudbury, which is a real boost for the town, and I don’t think it is really too much to ask people to read the signs, take note of the rules and park within the lines.”
The council’s head of environment Chris Fry said the penalties were a last resort. “We would much prefer people to use the car parks appropriately so we didn’t have to give out fines,” he said.