Dear Editor, I have just returned with my wife and son from a very pleasant week in Dartmouth. However, I will not be returning.
We arrived late on Saturday June 27 at a property on ‘Above Town’, which was booked because it advertised a garage for parking. Unfortunately this was not wide enough to allow access to our Renault Megane.
My wife and I are 61 years old and our 25-year old son has Asperger’s Syndrome. Having negotiated 92 steps at an angle of 1:3 to reach the main area of the town, we had dinner and asked about car parking as we found nowhere available within the immediate vicinity of the property. The one and only car park that we were directed to was full, but it did mean that we located the Tourist Information Office, which was closed. After climbing back up to the property, I decided that I would park behind another vehicle a short distance from the property, which although on rather dubious looking double yellow lines was causing no obstruction whatsoever.
We arrived back at the property at around 13:45 to find that a ‘Penalty Charge Notice’ had been attached to the windscreen of our car.
Both my wife and I work in the tourist industry and I calculate my £35 fine is going to cost Dartmouth about £28,000 in lost revenue next year alone. Based on our experience of spending about £2,000 for the week’s holiday, a couple might spend about £1,400 for a similar period. We will dissuade at least ten couples each from staying in Dartmouth because of the car parking issue. How many more people are doing the same because of your tourist unfriendly activities?
Peter R Jackson,