I THOUGHT local councils were supposed to be doing all they could to encourage people into their town centres to spend money in the shops. Whoever is operating the current parking scheme, presumably with the agreement of Hastings Borough Council, is certainly not helping.
Anticipating making a bulky purchase at Debenhams recently, I parked along the seafront and purchased a parking ticket - a flimsy affair with no means of sticking it to the car. I put it on the dashboard but it was a breezy day and as I closed the car door a gust of wind must have caused it to flutter to the ground.
On my return (well within my time) I found I had a penalty notice for failing to display a ticket, so I wrote to the parking agency explaining what had happened and sent it my ticket thinking that it would be understanding but no - it neither accepted my explanation nor the evidence of my ticket so I have had to pay up.
Apparently, if you can believe this, the agency’s officers look all over and into cars to see if the ticket has dropped down before issuing tickets. They even supplied photographic evidence of this search, which only showed how difficult it is to see into cars. They certainly can’t have looked very hard as the ticket was there. How they thought I came by the ticket I sent them is anyone’s guess.
So this is Hastings’ loss - in future I will confine my purchases in Hastings to small items that can be carried home on the bus and go elsewhere for anything larger.