Eastbourne woman’s fury over ‘misleading’ car park after getting hefty fine

Maggie Pinnell is upset by a parking fine she received when parking at Polegate railway station (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Maggie Pinnell is upset by a parking fine she received when parking at Polegate railway station (Photo by Jon Rigby)

An Eastbourne woman was shocked and upset to receive a hefty parking fine after paying to leave her car at Polegate station.

Maggie Pinnell, of Sovereign Harbour, was told to pay £60 escalating to £100 if unpaid within 28 days after she apparently paid the wrong parking meter when in a rush to catch her train.

Now she is calling out the car park as she says it is not well signposted to make it clear there are two at the station and she feels other senior citizens like herself may do the same thing.

Mrs Pinnell said, “I had to rush up there to take someone to hospital. I put my money in the meter and now I’ve got a parking charge for £60-£100.

“The council said there’s two car parks next to one another. I could only see one meter. They are not making it clear there’s another car park.

“I’m sure there’s lots of problems. The county council said they have had lots of complaints about this.

“I’m a senior citizen, I don’t need this sort of hassle. I’m sure I’m not the only one.”

She went on, “The whole situation is very misleading. I’m sure there are people who don’t have good eye sight or are elderly that are in this situation. A few of them I’m sure would have had a heart attack when they see the fine.”

But Mrs Pinnell is not the only person to have had a problem at Polegate station car park.

Neil and Anna Fearn say they had little time before the departure of their train and took down manager StarPark’s phone number and location code so they could pay over the phone while on the train.

But they say they were told by an automated message en route that the car park was ‘fully booked’ – despite several bays being empty.

Assuming this was a glitch, they say they called repeatedly but were unable to get through to pay. The couple have since received the £60-£100 parking fee in the post.

Neil said, “As a newly arriving customer, we had no way of knowing that the bays were fully booked. Why is time allowed for people to pay by phone, when they know that you will be on the train?”

The Herald has asked StarPark for a comment but have not received a response.

A Southern spokesperson said, “The private car park where these penalty notices were issued is owned and managed separately from ours, and in our view is clearly defined as separate.”

Have you had similar problems at the car park? Email eastbourne.herald@jpress.co.uk