Council worker says vintage cars should get free parking

A Horsham District Council employee says vintage cars should have free parking because of their motoring history.

Saturday, 31st August 2013, 6:00 am
JPCT 230813 S13350348x Paul Lurring, with veteran cars -photo by Steve Cobb

Paul Lurring, 49, of Handcross, who works in the council’s cleansing services department, received a penalty charge notice for parking one of his 1932 Austin 7s in Horsham Hospital car park without a valid pay and display ticket.

He said: “We should have free parking, there’s not a lot of these vehicles left on the road.

“Mine are 80 years old - it’s motoring history so we should be allowed.”

A sign displayed in Horsham Hospital's car park

Paul owns six classic vehicles, which are collectively 374 years old and include a 1950s Green Goddess fire engine.

The council worker, who was going into the hospital for physiotherapy, had parked several times at the car park over three months. He initially challenged the £25 penalty in June but later paid the fine.

Paul said: “It should make it clear. It’s an inadequate sign.”

He added: “I laughed when they gave me a ticket because the parking attendant didn’t realise it was a very old vehicle, which are tax exempt.”

In a letter replying to Paul’s challenge, a council officer said: “We are confident that the signs are clear and inform motorists that payment is required.”

He included a picture of a sign (shown above right) which displays a disability symbol and says: “Badge holders only. Please note. Payment is required unless vehicles are tax exempt.”

A spokesman for HDC told the County Times: “The vehicle was found to be in contravention for not displaying a valid Pay & Display ticket whilst parked in a parking bay and with no other permit on display, therefore a Penalty Charge Notice was duly issued.

“The disability qualification plate in the picture supplied relates to parking for disabled motorists, hence the internationally recognised symbols.

“It does not apply to vehicles that are only tax exempt and, in order to meet the requirements, a blue disabled badge must be displayed as well. The complainant is welcome to contact Horsham District Council for more information.”