(Not so) Smart Parking to be axed

£100 fine - enter at your peril

Smart Parking, the company currently running the Western Car Park in Camber, is likely to be stripped of the contract by Rother District Council (RDC) next week.

RDC’s Cabinet is meeting on Monday February 10 too discuss transferring the management of the car park to an in-house team.

The outsourcing of the management of Camber’s largest car park to Smart Parking proved controversial. A number of readers contacted Rye News because they had been incorrectly fined by Smart Parking even though they bought the correct parking ticket.

Smart Parking had been awarded the contract to manage the car park in 2018 and introduced an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system, to improve speed of access into and out of the car park.

“This trial has now ended and the decision has been taken that the system is not a suitable option in the longer-term” RDC officers say in their report to Cabinet. “The principal reason being that the ANPR system did not prove to reduce congestion; it only led to the car park becoming full more quickly.”

RDC estimates that the Western Car Park gets around 100,000 visitors each year and is recommending that they install ten solar powered payment machines, at an approximate cost of £55,000, and hire staff to liaise with the public and ensure visitors have bought the correct ticket.

The second option under consideration would see the continued use of the ANPR system, but officers at Rother are concerned that the barriers at the entrance and exit of the car park could fail to open, and they would therefore need someone on-call at all time. The barrier mechanism would also lead to cars queuing to enter and leave the car park, which at peak times in the summer would lead to considerable tailbacks.

Image Credits: Rye News library .



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