A pensioner has been fined £100 for parking in a Worthing car park for 13 minutes.
Jeannette Frost from Onslow Drive, Ferring, was travelling to see award-winning violinist Nicola Benedetti at the Assembly Rooms on Sunday, September 2, when she entered the NCP-run car park in Union Place in Worthing town centre at 2.12pm.
She tried paying for parking, but after several failed attempts at using the machine she left the car park at 2.25pm and moved her car to the Guildbourne Centre multi-storey car park.
On Monday, she received a letter to say she had received a parking fine of £100, which she had to pay before October 11.
The 68-year-old said she had a ‘rush of blood to her head’ and her ‘ears were throbbing because she was so scared’ before reading how long she had been in the car park for.
She said: “If I wasn’t being fined, I would laugh. I would think it is funny, but it isn’t, because I’m being fined £100.”
When she went to pay at the machine, she found the instructions to be unclear. She said she keyed in her registration number, followed by inserting her card, but claimed that at the end of the process it kept asking for her registration number again. She said this happened about seven or eight times, and all the while a queue built up behind her. When she asked for help, she said the other drivers could not work out what was going wrong.
She said: “I think the signage isn’t clear; maybe it was a very high-tech person who wrote it in their own language. It isn’t clear to the average person, it needs to be more idiot proof.”
The widow said friends at her walking group had been ‘horrified’ by her experience and she will be appealing the decision.
An NCP spokesman said: “NCP has a grace period on this car park that allows customers to enter the car park and exit with no charge within 10 minutes of entering the car park.
“We are concerned to hear that the customer felt that the instructions were unclear as we have three payment machines on site with payment instructions on each machine.
“At the same time the customer was in the car park we had many other payments that were completed successfully.
“We always welcome people to appeal via the instructions on the PCN and, if an appeal is not overturned by us, then customers can also appeal via POPLA which is a totally independent appeals procedure that allows the customer a further opinion outside of NCP.”