A TOURIST has complained of ‘profiteering’ parking companies ruining his holidays after he was given nearly £800 of fines in just 12 days.
David Watt, who has been holidaying in North Cornwall for 40 years, says he was given 12 separate fines after number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras were installed in the car park he has used every year.
He admits that he did not buy a ticket for the car park, and never has because his “stays were so brief and so early that parking attendants were not around” but says that the fines were “over the top” and “do not fit the crime.”
In a letter to Cornwall Live he said that his stays ranged from six to twelve minutes and that the car park was empty.
Indeed, he claims that he was only forced into the car park in recent years as nearby free parking spaces were closed.
Mr Watt said: “Are we in the wrong? Undoubtedly, that is not in dispute. What is in dispute is the severity of the fines.
“My 62 minutes and 42 seconds of parking is going to cost me, provided I pay early, £5.80 per minute, or a total of £540.
“In various email exchanges with Alliance Parking I have admitted my guilt and have offered to pay a fee, but I feel that the punishment does not fit the crime.
“Alliance Parking have declined my offer and require me to pay the full fee.”
He added: “Is what Alliance Parking doing wrong? Probably not. Is what they are doing affecting tourism to Cornwall? Very probably. Is what they are doing blatant profiteering? Absolutely definitely.
“The installation of ANPR cameras has enabled them to turn the issuing of parking fines into a well-oiled machine, punishing motorists for even the most minor breaches.
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“What is certain is that having paid the full £760 worth of fines I will not return to Cornwall until Alliance have gone.”
Alliance Parking have been contacted for comment.