Branscombe parking gripe after �50 ticket

A WORRIED man, who claims he received a �50 parking fine in Branscombe because the ticket machine didn t register his money, believes tourists may be deterred from visiting the village. David Matthews, of Sidbury, says he put �3 into the machine for a thr

A WORRIED man, who claims he received a �50 parking fine in Branscombe because the ticket machine didn't register his money, believes tourists may be deterred from visiting the village.

David Matthews, of Sidbury, says he put �3 into the machine for a three hour stay in the pay-and-display car park on Branscombe Beach, but only �1 was accepted, which he didn't realise at the time.

When he discovered the parking fine Mr Matthews, 61, approached one of three inspectors in the car park, which is managed by Premier Park Limited, and explained what had happened but despite protesting was told "it's what's on the ticket that counts".

He said: "I was really surprised to see I had a fine. I put the money in the machine and didn't even think to check. I've used machines in Honiton and never had any trouble before."


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However Anthony Sellick, who co-owns the car park, said it is up to the individual to ensure the money has registered by checking the ticket.

He also said there is a big problem with forged coins, especially �2s, and warned people to be vigilant when being handed change.

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Mr Sellick added: "I'm very sorry for the guy but it's very difficult. People need to realise they need to check their tickets.

"You don't want to penalise honest people but how can you tell the difference between the honest and the dishonest?"

Mr Matthews said his main gripe is if ticket inspectors do come down "too hard", the tourism industry could suffer.

He added: "If they want tourists to come to Branscombe they've got to mend their ways."

The pay-and-display scheme at the beach car park was implemented in March 2008 and Mr Sellick has hailed it a success.

Before this people had to pay a fixed amount for the day and a barrier was in place.

Beach car park concessions are available to the local fishing club and it is free for Branscombe residents who take part in the 'Songs of Praise' events on the beach.

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