Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Brighton Parking Department,

I am writing to complain that none of the parking meters in Brighton and Hove give change.

Further-more, as unlike your website promises, neither do they allow users to pay for the amount of time required.

Please allow me to explain:

1, Anyone popping into town to drop a cheque into the bank or buy an essential piece of merchandise from the shops will on average complete the task in between 15 to 30 minutes.

The parking meters will not allow users to pay to park for either 15 or 30 minutes. Users are left with no choice but to pay for an hours parking regardless or whether they park for 5 minutes or 30 minutes.

2, To park up to an hour will cost £1.70 on most parking meters in the city. But if you haven’t the exact change, which many people haven’t, you are forced to put either a £2 coin, or £1.80 change into the meter.

As a result:

a, No change is given,

b, No extra time is given in reflection of the extra money taken.

3, The cities parking enforcement team would without hesitation, issue a parking fine if they find a vehicle which has out-stayed it’s allocated time by 5 minutes.

This means that even though a resident would have paid £2, for a fee of £1.70 up to one hour, and for whatever reason was delayed in getting back to their vehicle by 10 minutes, would be fined, even though they would have paid for the over 1 hours stay.

4, Many coin operated machines, from telephone booths, to crisp, chocolate and drink dispensers, to parking meters in Churchill Square, to changed givers, stamp dispensers, condom dispensers etc, all provide change.

How can you justify your parking meters not providing change?

This practice of keeping change and not allocating extra time for extra monies paid constitutes fraud on a massive scale and a criminal act of swindle.

I intend to bring this matter up with my MP, and conduct a campaign through local media to highlight this grave and criminal act against the residents of Brighton and Hove City. I also intend to raise this issue with the European Ombudsman.

I wish this email to be my formal statement of complaint.

Matthew Taylor


  1. Dear Matthew

    Thank you for your email regarding the council’s pay and display parking machines. I am always pleased to receive feedback on how we deliver our services as this provides an opportunity to consider and review how these can be improved.

    The council operates 1180 pay and display parking machines on street across the city. In order to keep their physical and carbon footprint to a minimum, these machines are solar powered. Unfortunately, this means that they are unable to give change as the mechanism required for this requires more power and space than would fit inside. You will find that this is normal across the parking sector for pay and display parking. Our four off-street barrier car park machines for example, are mains powered, much larger in size and do give change.

    Also, the examples of machines that you quote as giving change are normally in secure locations. This is not the case with our parking machines, which are on-street and vulnerable to theft of vandalism, especially bearing in mind the extra amounts of money that the machines would be required to hold in order to give change.

    Broadly, the Council’s powers and duties under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 must be exercised to secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of all types of traffic and the provision of suitable and adequate parking facilities on and off the highway.

    The council implements a ‘step’ tariff structure and considers that one hour is the minimum parking time required to meet it’s duties under the act. Primarily, the aim is to maintain the free movement of traffic and access to premises for residents. However, the council is looking at the possibility of introducing a cashless parking scheme, in which motorists can pay for their parking via mobile phone, thereby negating the need for coin payment at all. This is still in a planning stage and would be subject to final councillor approval before implementation.

    I hope this answers you questions but please contact me if you have further questions.

    Kind regards


    Tracey Wardle
    Maintenance Manager

    Transport Operations
    Brighton & Hove City Council
    6A Pavilion Buildings
    BN1 1EE

    Email: tracey.wardle@brighton-hove.gov.uk
    Tel: 01273 292298
    Mobile: 07825 862506