Festive parkers given fines at Dinton Pastures

Council's parking app mistakenly shows parking to be free on bank holidays

A WOKINGHAM man is furious his father picked up his first parking ticket in 50 years – after visiting Dinton Pastures.

Garry Swan was also hit with a £50 fine following a family Boxing Day outing to the park.

The double whammy came despite Garry checking the RingGo parking app which stated parking was free on bank holidays.

Now he is calling on Wokingham Borough Council to update the app site fearing other drivers could be caught out.

“When we arrived at Dinton, there was a large queue at the parking meter,” explained Garry.

“However, I’d already checked RingGo which clearly stated parking was free. After spending a pleasant morning in the park, we returned to find my car and my dad’s both had tickets.

“Dad has been driving for 50 years and this was the first fine he has ever picked up.

“Both of us were furious, especially Dad.”

Garry challenged the ticket that evening and a week later he was told the fines would be cancelled.

“The council didn’t actually apologise for their mistake. It was a very brief message but they added I should not park illegally again but as far as I am concerned I did not park illegally in the first place.

“The council claim there are notices at Dinton warning parking charges still apply. However, they are not very visible and if people travel there after checking RingGo, they will be annoyed to find parking isn’t free after all. I hope the council update the information before Easter when many other drivers could be caught out.”

Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport at Wokingham Borough Council said: “We apologise for the error and encourage anyone who received a penalty charge notice on this day at Dinton to appeal it. Details of how to do so are on the ticket.

“We’re liaising with RingGo so it doesn’t happen again.”

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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  1. I would like to add that refunds should also be given to all those motorists who paid by machine on what were ‘free’ parking days and the costs of this appalling situation deducted from the final salary cheques of all those responsible for the original and the continuing foul up.
    For a risible read I would recommend the WBC and Dinton Park Facebook pages. The WBC contributions are bad enough but the uninformed comments of those who fail to understand the issues are pathetic.
    One contributor though helpfully suggested contacting Trading Standards. Well I did on the 29 December 2018 because I was trying to rescue visitors on New Year’s Day from the same fate. There was no response whatsoever until I expedited a response on 11 January 2019 and I was far from impressed with that.
    Finally, I would say each and every miscreant in this disgraceful affair and who appear to be in some sort of denial that someone somewhere needs to get a grip and to have the vision to see where this might all be heading.

  2. The Council obviously still don’t get it.
    There were no contraventions and they should be cancelling all unlawful Parking Charge Notices issued on Boxing Day and any on New Year’s Day without wronged motorists having to do anything.
    It apparently didn’t just happen at Dinton and there’s much much more to this story to be revealed.
    The falsities remain on the RingGo website and the majority of Wokingham car parks are stated to be free on Bank Holidays so are these also false statements?
    And an ‘old’ sign at Dinton says that fine is £80 when it isn’t but WBC say ‘It will be updated when The Country Services next refresh their signs.’. Their observational skills and diligence are overwhelming!
    Glass houses and stones spring to mind!

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