‘Smartpark’ charging glitches persist in Horsham car parks

Gloria Flint and Bob Turvey and other Horsham Bridge Club members are angry at being overcharged in the evenings due to faults in the new parking system at Piries Place. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150428-165556001
Gloria Flint and Bob Turvey and other Horsham Bridge Club members are angry at being overcharged in the evenings due to faults in the new parking system at Piries Place. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150428-165556001
  • Ticketless parking system installed to make paying easier
  • Motorists’ exit not being registered by machine
  • Council defends system saying number plate was to blame
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Motorists coming into Horsham are facing parking charges exceeding £10 as problems persist with the ‘SmartPark’ system.

Horsham District Council installed Piries Place and other car parks with the new ticketless pay system in March.

It was billed as making paying easier as a machine reads the number plates and charges users accordingly.

Now members of the weekly Horsham Bridge Club are the latest to voice their frustrations to the County Times over persistent glitches there.

Gloria Flint has been charged £11 two weeks in a row. The correct evening charge is flat fee of £1 between 6pm and 8pm. After 8pm it is free.

She said: “It’s happened to three people in our bridge club. I go there and a lot of people park there in the evening. Even though we have paid the day before you can still be charged.

“There are a lot of people at the club. We have over 50 on some evenings.

“They pay the money into your account, but you want to park in confidence.

“It’s a lot of stress because I know I can’t use the Denne Road carpark because it’s always chock-a-block.”

Another member Bob Turvey has experienced similar problems. Writing to ward member Peter Burgess (Con, Holbrook East) he said: “I know of two people who have been charged £11 for a £1 evening session, because they had used the park within the last 24 hours and their exit had not been registered.

“One had to borrow money before she could exit. What if there had been no one to hand?

“Many people enter their registration no and the system, has no trace. This has happened to me three times.

“You then are faced with having to enter your time of entry, and some times need to do this several times.

“I have seen two women so distressed they were actually crying.”

Regarding Ms Flint’s complaint a Horsham District Council spokesman said: “Our parking services team has looked into this particular case and found that the users car registration plate was broken and consequently the parking technology could not read her number plate. The user has now replaced her number plate which should rectify the problem.”

Ms Flint added: “It was not broken. It had a slight crack in the top corner. It cost £20.

“I can’t work it out when it charged me a pound one time and the next time it was £11. The system is not right.”