LETTER: Reasonable time to make payment

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I read with interest the letter from Jane Williams published in the County Times under the heading ‘End this parking madness now’. Ms Williams was issued a ticket after ten seconds.

On Tuesday February 4, 2014 I drove into the Jengers Mead car park at Billingshurst and stopped by the charity shop, it being my intention to pay to park.

But I was denied the opportunity of doing so by an overzealous parking attendant who seemed more interested in issuing me with a ticket than listening to anything I had to say.

Surely people using the Jengers Mead car park should be given reasonable time to walk to the payment machine, read the statutory notice, insert the correct fee and allow the machine to dispense the ticket, return to their car and place the ticket in the windscreen BEFORE they are issued with a penalty notice.

I have since measured the distance from the car park space very briefly occupied by me to the two payment machines in Jengers Mead car park.

The closest point is 52.57 metres or a total return distance of 105.14 metres. The distance to the other machine is 62.24 metres or a total return distance of 124.48 metres.

Current world record for the 100m sprint is held by Usain Bolt of Jamaica who ran the distance in 9.58 seconds on August 16, 2009. I mention this because in my case the attendant, in his own evidence printed on the ticket, observed my car from 15:42:15 to 15:42:21 after six seconds and issued the penalty notice at 15:42:29 after 14 seconds.

In other words it would have been physically impossible for anyone to purchase a ticket in the time allowed by the parking attendant. I think the issue of the penalty notice in these circumstances was at best premature at worst unreasonable, unfair and frankly ridiculous.

Needless to say I have appealed the charge and will not be paying it.

A.M. RAMIZ

Brighton Road, Horsham