Below is an appeal letter I am sending to Smart Parking, Rother’s parking enforcement company at Camber. As outlined by my appeal these fines are unnecessarily punitive and are in my view a complete abuse of locals and visitors alike. Camber is an important part of our family life and now our visits have been soured.
There is a groundswell of feeling about these new punitive measures which has been voiced in the local Rye press and it is reflecting very badly on the Rother District Council.
I have essentially been charged £100 for sitting in my car eating lunch with my kids on a rainy morning having already paid at the machine.
This is totally excessive and these fines will no doubt be causing huge stress to visitors to the beach.
“To Parking Appeals Officer,
I was totally shocked to receive a parking fine from the Camber Sands car park dated from 31/05/18. We go to Camber Sands on a regular basis and have never received a ticket there before.
On this occasion I paid at the machine and then my three small children and I walked our dogs, it was pouring with rain and so returned to the car within the allotted time. We then sat in the car and ate a packed lunch as the children were hungry and it was pouring. As I was in the car I assumed there would be no issue with the time. We were also the only vehicle in the car park!
I feel these kind of punitive fines metered out to families enjoying the beach on a rainy morning creates a very negative impact on the public’s perception of the Rother council and how they are managing these public spaces through your company. I have three children to support and this fine will have a significant financial impact on my family.
I have contacted the council to express these views which have been shared by many others in the local press.
I do not see why I should be punished for paying for parking in good faith.”
Editor’s note: It would appear that on this occasion the paid-for time was exceeded, however the excess charge of £100 does seem excessive. We have received, and will doubtless continue to receive, a lot of mail from readers with comments on parking fines in Camber and Smart Parking’s apparent unwillingness to respond to complaints. Many years ago, when I was an executive with a construction company, it was not unusual for companies to tender for a large contract at a price that was either break even or possibly at a small loss. The profit would then come from charging at a higher price for “extra” work during the course of the contract and when the client was committed to the particular contractor. One can’t help wondering whether Smart Parking obtained their contract using the same thought process and, if so, whether they were the right people for Rother to use to run a car park in an area heavily reliant on the tourist trade. By way of contrast, Rother say most of its car parks have a standard excess charge of £80.
Image Credits: Rye News library .