Ticket machines set to stay

CONTROVERSIAL car park charges at a fishing hamlet are set to stay – with planners raising no objections to ticket machines.A number of visitors complained last summer after their cars were clamped as they were caught out by the fees at the newly-refurbished car park outside the popular café at Felixstowe Ferry.

CONTROVERSIAL car park charges at a fishing hamlet are set to stay – with planners raising no objections to ticket machines.

A number of visitors complained last summer after their cars were clamped as they were caught out by the fees at the newly-refurbished car park outside the popular café at Felixstowe Ferry.

When it emerged that the ticket machines should not been there at all because they did not have planning permission, clamped car owner Doreen Rayner demanded to know if motorists would get their money back.

"Somebody must have known that he had not applied for planning permission. I haven't been there since and I won't be frequenting the café again," said Mrs Rayner, of Manor Terrace, Felixstowe.


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Mrs Rayner had to cough up £25 to have her car released after she failed to notice the new pay-and-display machines and did not buy a 30p ticket for an hour's parking.

Café and car park owner John Davis, who spent £200,000 on refurbishing the car park, has now applied for retrospective consent for the machines and Suffolk Coastal councillors are being recommended to grant permission.

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A report to go the south area development control sub committee on Thursday says the land has been used for a car park for many years and the ticket machine does not have an adverse impact on the character of the area.

There were some issues over rights of access through the site with the boatyard next door but these would need to be settled privately, and there was also concern whether using hardstanding for outdoor café tables could affect bus services which used the area as a turning circle.

Mr Davis gave the car park its makeover last spring, completely transforming it from a scrappy piece of land into a level parking area with wood-fenced bays.

He introduced charges in order to begin retrieving the investment he had put into the project.

He had not wanted to use clamping but said so many people ignored the pay and display signs in the first weeks that he had to take action.

The ticket machine is the standard one used in many council car parks nationwide, there is a huge sign by the machine and at least five smaller ones saying "pay and display" and "have you paid", plus notices warning of clamping.

A clamped abandoned car has been placed in the car park on several occasions to illustrate clamping is in use.

n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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