DEBATE: Horsham theatregoers’ fury over parking charges

Car park sign in Piries Place, Horsham.
Car park sign in Piries Place, Horsham.

In the first week of the increased Horsham town centre parking charges, people have contacted the County Times saying they are being charged even more because of technical problems with the ticket machines.

Due to a new charge for evening parking in the Park House car park in North Street, people visiting the Capitol this week have had to leave the theatre part way through a film or performance to renew their parking ticket due to the machines not being updated.

Jackie Wright of Rudgwick said: “I went to the Capitol last night for the 5.30 performance, and parked as I usually do in the council office car park, as it is near and much safer than the BT car park in view of my age to be faced with the new parking charges (which I knew were coming).

“However what they have done is to seriously affect the 5.30 performance goers, particularly the older and the young families. If you arrive at say 5pm to collect tickets or for a cup of tea you expect to pay for the period from 5-6, but now they have put in an additional charge for the period of 6-8pm with officially no returns for less than three hours.

“The result is that you have to disturb people in their seats to go out of the theatre to put money in (against the new rules) or move the car and put money in.”

Sarah Briffitt, of North Heath Lane, Horsham was also caught out by the extra charge.

She said: “Unfortunately, today, I had to make two car journeys into the Town Centre, and found that rather than pay for parking for “up to 1 hour”, I was forced to pay for two sessions for “up to 2 hours” at a cost of £2.40 per session - outlay £4.80p. Then, this evening, I visited The Capitol to see “Boeing Boeing”, only to find that our devious Council have decided to charge us for parking to go to The Capitol in the evening, at a cost of one pound to park between the hours of 6pm and 8pm.

“Total outlay in parking charges for to-day amounted to £5.80. Isn’t it time to introduce a Residents’ Concessionary Parking scheme, financed out of our extortionate Council Tax charges?”

What do you think? Have you been affected by this same problem? Were you visiting the Capitol and had to leave early to top up your parking? Leave your comments below or contact

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council said: “Horsham District Council is sorry to hear that some customers are experiencing problems with the new evening tariff in the North Street car park in Horsham. We have checked the ticket machines and confirmed that they are working correctly and issuing tickets for the correct length of stay.

“It may be that there is some confusion over how the tariff works. If, for example, someone parks at 5.30pm, the tariff will be £1.10 for the remaining period until 6pm and £1 from 6pm to 8pm giving a total of £2.10. We are arranging for additional information to be provided at the ticket machines to make this clearer.”