Visitors' anger at unfair Falmouth car park 'fines'
2:00pm Wednesday 24th October 2012 in News
Two £80 parking fines issued in Falmouth town centre were issued unfairly, according to their stunned recipients. Firstly, a family on their first day trip since the death of family member has been left disgusted by getting a ticket slapped on their car, despite the fact they had already paid.
Then a Flushing couple say they were astonished to receive a ticket telling them they had been parked in the car park since 6.40pm – despite still being at home at that time.
Jessica Milln, from St Austell, brought her three sons, her 83-year-old dad, her sister and her partner to visit Falmouth for the Oyster Festival celebrations on Saturday, October 13.
The family parked in the Maritime Quay car park by the National Maritime Museum, which is controlled by Armtrac Security Services, which is contracted by the museum.
As Mrs Milln was leaving a young puppy in the car she had to leave a window slightly open, and while the family was away she said the ticket must have been moved by the wind. She said: “After my mother passed away on October 10, the Falmouth Oyster Festival was the first opportunity that we’d had as a family to take some time out together. We thought we’d been very lucky to find a parking space so close to the festival. “My sister’s partner paid for the parking ticket and displayed it on the dashboard for me.”
However, they returned to find a yellow parking fine attached to the windscreen.
Mrs Milln immediately spoke to the parking patrol officer and showed him the valid ticket, but was told she would have to write a letter of appeal to get the fine waived.
However when she wrote a letter of appeal to Armtrac their response insisted that as the ticket was not readable she would simply have to pay. Just four days later, Jeffery Rae, of Flushing, was stunned to find he had received a parking ticket in the same car park after an evening out.
He said: “The ticket states our vehicle was first seen in the car park at 6.40pm.
“Since we did not leave our home in Flushing until 6.40pm, the patrol officer cannot have seen us.
“There was a spring tide that day and the main road into the village was flooded so we drove around the back streets.
“We saw a friend there and stopped to chat and offered them a lift – this witness can attest to the time.”
Mr Rae said he parked in the car park at 6.58pm and checked on the ticket machine – which said no ticket was required after 7pm.
He was stunned to have received a ticket when he returned to his car.
He has now written to Armtrac asking to view CCTV footage of the car park, and is awaiting a response.
Armtrac were not available for comment at the time of going to press. Amy Glover, visitor services manager for the National Maritime Museum said: “These cases are new to us and we haven’t heard from these individuals – but would be very happy to.
“We are responsible for the car park and contract Armtrac to manage the daily operations. We are governed by our planning permission which has a requirement for us to manage the car park.
“We do liaise with Armtrac to police the conditions of use. These terms and conditions are displayed in the car park, and as long as Armtrac enforce according to these, we cannot interfere with their operation.
“We do not pay Armtrac a fee, and therefore it is at their discretion whether to pursue a fine or not.
“On occasions where we feel that there is a grey area concerning the fine we do intervene with Armtrac and request a review of the fine given.”
It is not only local people who have fallen foul of Armtrac parking services.
Tourists here on holiday have also complained that they have been targetted unfairly by Armtrac Security.