Chichester visitor penalised as he checks in to Vestry

The Vestry in Chichester
The Vestry in Chichester

A WAR of words has erupted after a visitor to the city was caught out by a car-parking attendant.

Steve Drew said he had parked in the Southgate car park as he was staying at the Vestry, in Southgate.

The car park is privately run and has an agreement with the Vestry, whereby people checking in after 6pm can get a free pass until 10am the following day.

He wrote in a letter to Southgate Parking: “As there were a number of other people checking in before me, it took me maybe ten minutes to get checked in and walk back to the car, which by then had the ticket on. As the car park was almost empty I didn’t think I was getting in anyone’s way or taking up space.”

Despite him sending his ticket and hotel booking to Southgate Parking, the ticket still stands.

Owner of Southgate Parking Andrew Finnamore said Mr Drew had been given ten minutes to return to his car, but had failed to do so. “I understand nobody likes getting a ticket. You have to draw a line somewhere,” he said.

He said it did not take a minute to walk from the Vestry to the car park and it was up to the Vestry to inform its customers of the agreement between the hotel and the car park.

Angela Simper, hotel manager at the Vestry said: “To help our guests with parking costs we issue free night passes. We are currently liasing with the carpark owner to resolve the matter.”