Owner of Custom House Quay Falmouth car park to get rid of law enforcement company

The owner of a car park known for high fines is looking to change the current management company, opting instead for a more local approach.

Custom House Quay car park is owned by Falmouth Harbor Commissioners (FHC) who contract its management to a national private law enforcement company called Creative Parking.

The parking lot has been known for years and has attracted a large number of complaints about penalties and denial of refunds and appeals. FHC has often refused to get involved in disputes and directed angry motorists to its law enforcement contractor.

However, FHC’s recently appointed chief executive, Miles Carden, has pledged to end it since he started getting wind of the anger of the masses.

He said: “We entered into the contract with the management company several years ago and are therefore contractually committed.

Read more: The best and worst car parks in Cornwall as reviewed by users

“Personally, I’m not always happy with the way customers have been treated and when that happened we discussed it with the company and arranged refunds. He didn’t have a good reputation, he was not good enough and we recognize that.

“We are in the process of fundamentally rethinking the management of the car park and changing the way it is managed. This will probably happen before the summer season, but we have to respect the current contract we have with the management company.

The Custom House Quay car park has been a source of outrage and discontent for several years.

Many people have complained about unfair fines of up to £100 for reasons such as the short time between parking the car and getting the ticket at the machine. The car park would also be poorly lit, making it difficult to read signs and use the cash machine at night.

A review on Google reads: “What’s the point of issuing a parking ticket with times when you charge from the time of entry, with no time to park or get a ticket .

“You are scam merchants and shame on you for giving Falmouth and Cornwall a bad name.”

Miles said the future management of the parking lot is uncertain but staying local would be a top priority.

He said: “It is not yet determined and it is a decision that I will take with my board. My current view is that I want to see a local solution. I think the problems come from the fact that it is not locally based.

“If it’s an outside company, not an in-house job, it’s going to be a local company, rather than someone on the other end of the phone across the country. We will have a local element to handle all complaints.

Miles Carden, the former corporate area manager at Cornwall Airport Aerohub in Newquay and the figurehead of the Spaceport Cornwall project, has been appointed CEO of Falmouth Harbor Commissioners

However, Miles also said the nature of parking is likely to change drastically. He says the current location is “not ideal”, especially during peak months, with poor access and cars having to go straight to the city centre.

“As the pandemic has shown how much people appreciate the hospitality industry, the commission hopes to make the historic site a space where the local community can come and have fun.

“In the medium to long term, we want Custom House Quay to be a place with bars, restaurants and outdoor events, not a parking lot, which does not bring much to the city, in terms of income. or jobs.

“We will make arrangements with local traders, for example Trago Mills, where their customers often park for pick up and drop off, but overall we will massively reduce the volume of parking spaces. Maybe electric cars with charging sockets.

“But a large paid parking lot is not our future,” Miles added.

However, in the meantime, Miles advises anyone having issues with parking, particularly with regards to fines, to keep track of their tickets and contact FHC as soon as possible.

Miles said: “We fully understand how innocent mistakes can be made, especially with license plate recognition technology and on dark, damp nights. We are always willing to look into cases where an error has occurred and someone has received a fine that seems unfair.

“It’s really vital that customers come to us very quickly, explain the position and don’t let it linger for the fine to increase. We will always strive to nip it in the bud as soon as we can.

You can contact FHC at [email protected]

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