Parking not fine at Camber


Has anyone else recently received a parking  fine for using Camber Western car park? At least three parking meters were malfunctioning when I visited there on April 3, writes Kenneth Bird. One was clearly hooded, another refused to accept payment and the third swallowed my £1.50 – but failed to issue a ticket receipt.
Assuming at least that my payment had been registered, I walked on the beach and returned well under the hour. Last Friday, I received and have challenged a parking fine from Smart Parking Ltd, Rother District Council’s franchised operator.
If anyone else has suffered unfairly, tell Rye News (which has already reported on concerns over the new parking arrangements) by emailing

Photo: Kenneth Bird

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .

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  1. Smart Parking’s business model appears to rely on maximising fines for non payment/overstays. (see attached slide from investor presentation).It appears a very necessary component to recoup the investment in ANPR (plus in the case of Camber West the hundred plus sign posts which litter the parking field!)
    Surely Rother’s remit should be to provide an efficient facility to enable residents and visitors to enjoy the beach,not create a highly stepped tariff structure allied with technology, designed to generate fines.
    What % share of fines do Rother receive? Why not pay as you exit on a sliding scale for time spent?The technology is there.Oh of course not,that would reduce
    revenue from fines!

    • Peter Morris i applaud you ! I completely agree with you. I took my 2 yr old son to camber sands, it was hard work getting him, our picnic and the sun tent on to the beach and even harder on the way out. After relaying him and our stuff up the dunes. I got back to my car and changed him out of his sandy attire and gave him a drink and a bite to eat to refuel him for the 1hr journey home. Needless to say this took me over my parking limit, which at the time i wasnt aware of as there is no end time on the ticket. I also didnt realise that you had to be OUT of the car park rather than at your car. Unfortunately but unsirprisingly with the smart parking system i have recieved a fine, so now a well worth the effort day has turned into a ‘ i won’t be doing that again ‘ and I
      now favour a pebbled beach closer to home with reasonable parking charges ! Go Eastbourne!!!

  2. Camber Sand will get into anything mechanical, so the life of ticket Machines is going to be very limited.

  3. Just received a £100 fine for daring to eat lunch in the car with my kids after a lovely walk in the rain.
    Thankyou Smart Parking for penalising all those small moments that make up family life.

  4. I am disgusted at having to pay £60 for a minor overstay , I paid the required amount at a machine that did not produce a ticket and was told by the lady in the entrance box that some machines don’t produce tickets and in fact the machine said the same . There were very few machines in operation on the day and it took me some time to find one that would accept my money. I appealed to ‘Smart Parking’ a misnomer if ever I heard one , and my appeal was declined . This experience has tainted my view of beautiful Camber Sands ,why do they have to use this money making company to collect parking dues? They are not raising revenue to support the local surroundings they are clearly just lining their own pockets. It is clear from the standardised reply I received that they have no intention of accepting appeals and the appeal procedure is purely to appear to be doing the right thing .

  5. Disappointed in the district for adopting Smart Parking , they are completely at odds with such a beautiful area of natural beauty . Get rid of them and just pay your local people to collect parking fees , surely a more acceptable situation and certainly less inflammatory

  6. Just got a parking fine and very disappointed. We returned to our vehicle within the time we paid for but my pregnant wife needed the toilet before our 2 hour journey home. 2 of the cubicles in the ladies were out of order and on a hot day the queue was massive! Needless to say we didn’t get out of car park in time so have a nice £100 fine. I have appealed and hopefully someone will see sense. If not, we will find a new beach to visit. Such a shame to spoil a lovely day!

    • Why not just fine you if you leave the car park without paying! I went back to the machine just after an hour to pay for my entire stay of four hours. But it already said I’ve overstayed and fined me. Lol I still paid for the other three hours but disappointed it’s so keen to fine you. When it’s easy to get distracted there with excited kids! Let people pay before they leave like any normal car park please council. £100 on top of everything else in these cost of living crisis times isn’t fair on hard working / poor people

  7. I have just experienced the same. Drove in to the empty car park, parked up and waited for the rain to stop for 30 minutes before paying and undertaking an hour’s walk. 2 weeks later a nice reminder of the walk in the sum of £100.
    It is gauling in many levels but mostly because I would be fined less for parking on a double yellow in the middle of Rye.
    This is not far off racketeering!!!

  8. As I mentioned in these columns last year, I believe that cameras photograph your number plate on entry and on exit, and the “parking” time recorded is simply the difference between those times, so the times printed on your ticket are irrelevant. I’m sure that’s why so many people are being caught out. This so-called “smart parking” is of course an absolute rip-off. There are plenty of free parking spaces along the main road through the village, especially in winter, and it’s far safer to use one of those even if it means a longer walk to the beach.

  9. In the same boat ripped off for queuing ON BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND 2019 EASTER …overstay 20minutes from entering and leaving beware !!!!!tried to find parkng person to let them know the machines were not functioning correctly No sign of help…anywhere and lots of pissed off parking folk……Smart parking need to get their act together fast !!!!!


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