Business owner ‘struggling to break even’ due to parking charges

Saagar Patel outside Pulborough Stores
Saagar Patel outside Pulborough Stores

A Pulborough business owner has told councillors he refuses to pay his most recent penalty notice while he waits to be given a parking permit.

Saagar Patel, owner of Pulborough Stores, in Lower Street, has been issued three separate parking tickets since charges were implemented by Horsham District Council in the Lower Street car park last year.

Saagar Patel

Saagar Patel

During this time, Mr Patel has requested a parking permit which allows him to park for the duration of his store’s opening hours.

He has been added to a waiting list in which he is currently 30th in line.

Mr Patel said: “I have to wait for 30 people to give back their parking permits before I can get one for myself.

“The council needs to do everything it can to protect the village businesses and these parking charges are hitting us so hard.

“I am struggling to break even on most days because people don’t want to pay to just pop into the village.”

Mr Patel is currently parking in the Lower Street car park for the maximum four hours before he locks up his shop for twenty minutes to move his car into a residential street.

He added: “I don’t have the money to employ more staff so when it’s just me, I am losing more business just to move my car.

“I also have a free-to-use cash machine for customers inside my shop which I fill up using cash from the till. This is difficult to do on days when we are missing out on passing trade and customers want to take out a large quantity of money.”

“There is a lay-by next to my shop which should be used by people who want to pop into the village for ten minutes. However, people often park here for days and nothing is done. Three quarters of the time, it is filled by parked cars.

“I am desperate for the council to monitor this area so it can be used for its main purpose.

A Horsham District Council spokesman said: “As a result of recent community concerns about parking in the Lower Street area of Pulborough, the council has recently stepped up enforcement levels in the area which has resulted in more penalty charge notices being issued in areas where people are parking illegally.

“Our records show that Mr Patel has received two Penalty Charge Notices recently.

“Season car park tickets for local business owners in Pulborough have been in place for some years.

“Currently all 35 season ticket parking places have been taken. Mr Patel contacted the council only two weeks ago to request a season ticket. We haven’t refused to give Mr Patel a season ticket, but have put him on the waiting list along with other new applicants.”