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Counting the true cost of "meet & greet" parking

Trading Standards in Sussex say they have now received more than fifty complaints about damage to cars at off-site car parks around Gatwick Airport.

Last month, ITV Meridian highlighted one case in which more than a thousand cars were left unattended in a muddy field.

We've since heard of drivers whose cars have been returned with major bodywork damage and empty fuel tanks.

Malcolm Shaw has been back to Gatwick to investigate.

Concerns over plans for pay and display parking near hospital

Patient groups and staff say the on-site car park is too small Credit: ITV Meridian

Plans to introduce pay and display parking in residential streets near the Royal Berkshire Hospital have met with public opposition.

The borough council says it would ease congestion in the area - but the proposal has been condemed by local people, patient groups and staff who say the on site car park is too small - and charges elsewhere would make work or visits expensive.

ITV Meridian spoke to midwife, Clare Goulbourn-Lay.

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Cashless parking to begin in Reading

Drivers in Reading will be able to pay to park by mobile phone Credit: ITV Meridian

Drivers in Reading will no longer have to worry about carrying change with them to park.

A new cashless system is being introduced today - meaning motorists can pay by phone.

Optional alerts are then sent to residents when their time is due to expire.

"This is an additional way of paying for parking which takes away the worry of having the right coins in your pocket when you park in pay and display bays. It also allows people to top up their stay remotely, instead of returning to their car.

"Many drivers will already be familiar with the system, as it is widely used across the UK. I'd like to emphasise however, the option to pay by cash remains in place for those who prefer the traditional method."

– Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council's Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport

Hundreds of HGVs fined for illegal parking

Almost 450 HGVs parked unsafe and illegally on hard shoulders and slip roads in Kent have been moved on in less than two weeks.

Officers from Kent’s Roads Policing Unit and Highways England officers moved on a total of 447 lorries found to be parked inappropriately over a two week period this month.

Fixed penalty notices were issued to 37 vehicles.

"Parking on the hard shoulder and slip roads of busy carriageways for a rest is unsafe and illegal and it puts drivers and other road users in danger.

"Kent Police and its partners are taking a zero-tolerance approach to this kind of behaviour by lorry drivers. We are moving lorries on, fining those vehicles whose offences warrant such enforcement and those that won’t pay are moved to a safe location and immobilised until they do.

"Long-distance drivers should plan their journeys and that includes arranging safe, legal responsible locations to stop for their rest breaks."

– Superintendent Ian Hall, from Kent Police

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Cashless parking - Brighton and Hove to scrap half the city's ticket machines

Drivers in Brighton and Hove are being urged to use their mobile phones to pay for parking. The city council is removing half of all ticket machines to save money. But some motorists fear the change will make parking more difficult for those without mobiles. Malcolm Shaw spoke to Jason Kitcat, the Green leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, and Steve Percy of People's Parking Protest.

Daylight robbery? Councils make millions from parking

Council chiefs in Sussex are being accused of holding motorists to ransom over parking charges.

It's been revealed that Brighton and Hove makes over £18m a year from on-street parking. That's more than any other authority outside London.

The city council says much of that money is spent on improving public transport. But drivers say it's daylight robbery. Malcolm Shaw reports

Man sentenced after parking row attack

Robert Downs has been jailed for three years Credit: Sussex Police

A man has been sent to prison for three years for attacking a man in a row over parking in Brighton.

Robert Downs, 23, unemployed from Baranscraig Avenue in Brighton pleaded guilty to GBH with intent and was sentenced on October 23 at Lewes Crown Court.

Shortly after 6.30pm on Thursday May 15 the victim, a 53-year-old from Brighton, confronted Downs whose car was parked on the grass in Preston Park. As the victim walked away, Downs hit him over the head with a bottle and after he had fallen to the ground, stamped on his head.

"Downs viciously attacked the victim leaving him with severe cuts and bruises to his head and face. There were a number of witnesses in the park at the time and his behaviour was completely unacceptable. I would like to thank all the witnesses who came forward and their contribution helped in securing this conviction."

– DC James Botting
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