Motorcyclists left fuming over Guildford station stealth parking charges; Bikers are contesting the penalties, and want answers from Network Rail over the lack of warning.
Byline: Jamie Jubert
Angry bikers have criticisedNetwork Railfor introducing parking charges atGuildfordstation.
Motorcyclistshave until recently been able to park for free-- something they say gives an incentive to not use their cars and therefore has a positive impact on the environment and traffic congestion.
And they claim the new [pounds sterling]14 charge was brought in by stealth resulting in them receiving unfair fines of [pounds sterling]80.
Network Rail says it provided the necessary 28-day notice required.
Among the complainants is Chilworth resident Tim Gardiner, who said: "The reason I got a scooter is because it was free to park, and it's better for the environment too. They had blanket ticketed all the bikes and when I asked the attendant to show me the notice, he showed me the only one that was up -- in the far corner of the car park.
Blue badge-holders criticise parking enforcement at Guildford train station
"So unless you parked in that particular space, there's no chance you would have seen it. We were not given proper warning, there were no flyers with the information on.
"Motorbikes and scooters certainly reduce congestion concerns and are less polluting, so there should be some incentive to use them instead of cars."
Alastair Waldron, from Shamley Green, echoed these sentiments. He said it would have been simple to make motorcyclists aware by plastering signs to the railings where all bikes park. But instead, Network Rail and car park manager APCOA relied on the central charging signs which he said no bikers ever look at as they have always known parking to be free.
He has written to Guildford's MPAnne Miltonoutlining his upset and his parking ticket, which was originally upheld on appeal to APCOA but has now been revo-ked by Network Rail as a "gesture of goodwill".
Network Rail said the introduction of charges was in line with its other stations where motorcyclists are charged at 30 of its 32 car parks.
A spokesman for APCOA added: "As a member of the British Parking Association's approved operators scheme, there is an independent appeals process the public can use to provide a fair and robust process. This means members of the public can appeal any PCN issued by APCOA for review."
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Credit: Surrey Live / Darren Pepe
Alastair Waldron (L) and Tim Gardiner (R) with their scooters at Guildford station