Horsham District Council blasts ‘poor judgement’ by parking staff

Horsham District Council parking enforcment car at the Pavilions in the Park Leisure Centre in Horsham. Picture taken by Julian Light
Horsham District Council parking enforcment car at the Pavilions in the Park Leisure Centre in Horsham. Picture taken by Julian Light
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Horsham District Council has admitted its parking officers have ‘shown poor judgement during enforcement’ after recent incidents were brought to their attention.

In the wake of increased parking charges in Horsham town, parking officers parked on double yellow lines in Park Place last week provoked outrage with motorists.

HDC defended its parking officers saying it is legal for them park on double yellow lines while performing enforcement duties when it is necessary and safe to do so.

But following a second incident at Hurst Road, Horsham at the weekend, the council has said it has reviewed its procedures.

Julian Light of Lordings Road, Billingshurst, contacted the County Times after seeing officers ticket several cars in the Pavilions in the Park car park while parents picked up their children.

On Saturday parents arrived to a full car park and parked wherever they could for a few minutes. He saw officers ‘rush round to issue as many tickets as they could’.

He said: “I don’t have anything against paying for parking, not for three hours parking when I’m only there for ten minutes. They should have a charge for 20 minutes.”

Horsham district councillor Christine Costin (LDem, Trafalgar) was concerned at hearing about it.

She said: “The officers do have a job to do which should be helping to make our streets safer - one would hope that it is not all about applying penalties to bring in money for HDC!

“Judging from recent comments I feel that these wardens are becoming unapproachable, beyond the law themselves but ready to leave showers of parking tickets in their wake.

“Some of the public think they lurk around ready to pounce on any motorist who might offend - however unwittingly. The example given by your correspondent of what can happen at The Pavilions is worrying.

An HDC spokesman said: “In light of this incident, we will review the arrangements and consider ways to improve them.

“We recognise that on a number of recent occasions our parking staff have shown poor judgement when parking during enforcement and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“Our staff should only park in prohibited areas such as on double yellow lines where it is safe and necessary to do so and we have reviewed our procedures to ensure staff comply in future.”

Parking outrage: page 16

Comment: page 20