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Drivers deserve parking swoop warning according to Penzance businessman Robert Matthews

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 15, 2014

Robert Matthews fears a night-time parking ticket swoop.

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A PENZANCE businessman says that Cornwall Council should warn motorists if it is planning to clampdown on parking charges for night visitors to the town.

Robert Matthews, director of the firm which owns Sound nightclub, Up Bar and The Vault, said he has been told that Cornwall Council is planning to use an "after hours" team to tackle drivers not paying car parking charges at night.

"The warden (at Wharfside) told me that a team had been put together which would cover the whole of Cornwall's car parks late at night," he said.

Currently, at Penzance's council-owned car parks, the fee for a session of parking from 6pm to 12.30am is £2.

But Mr Matthews says most people using Penzance car parks in the evening do not currently get a valid ticket.

He says it is only fair to let people know if the car parks are going to be patrolled in the evenings.

"I've used the Greenmarket car park four or five nights a week for almost 30 years," he added.

"I've never paid for a ticket and I've never ever received a fine. The perception is that you don't have to pay.

"I can understand that Cornwall Council may want to enforce the regulations more strictly but they should let people know.

"At the moment there are about 30 people working at Sound who park in the Wharfside car park on a Saturday night. It would be horrendous if they all came out of work at 5am and found they'd been fined £35 each."

The Cornishman contacted the Cornwall Council press department but it refused to confirm or deny the existence of an 'after hours' team.

A spokesman said: "Civil enforcement officers (CEOs) can be deployed at any time of the day or night when and where restrictions are in force.

"Motorists should comply with the parking restrictions in force at any time to avoid being liable to being issued with a penalty charge notice."

And when asked, a second time, if a special 'after hours' team had been assembled, the spokesman added: "We don't announce when we will be carrying out enforcement activity – the point is motorists should comply with parking regulations and if they do not do so risk getting a penalty charge notice."

On the Cornwall Council website however, it does say: "In practice enforcement will usually be carried out within normal working hours, including Sundays."

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  • Boxheater  |  January 15 2014, 9:29AM

    I never cease to wonder why Cornwall Council, which is supposed to be there to help people and businesses to prosper, continues to follow a parking policy which is discouraging people to shop in town centres and generally causing so much annoyance and irritation. Only last week I had to visit a small Cornish town to attend an evening meeting which lasted about an hour and a half. Upon parking in the nearest car park, I discovered that because it was after 18:00hr, I had to pay to park all night, not just for an hour or two. Cornwall's parking policy needs to be completely binned, and some sort of sane and fair arrangements need to be set up which will encourage people to visit town centres and provide a more helpful and less stressful parking environment.

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