Byron tourists shocked over fines after paying for parking
A FAMILY visiting Byron Bay has been fined $212 for parking too long in Jonson St, despite the car parking meter letting them pay for beyond the allowed time, and even printing them a ticket to prove it.
The family from New Caledonia told Byron Shire councillor Duncan Dey in an email they were fined while enjoying lunch last Sunday.
They parked two cars on Jonson St, put money in the nearby meters, printed their tickets, and then found they had been fined $106 for each of the vehicles upon their return.
On the way back to their cars, they ran into the parking inspector who said they had to move their cars to another park every hour if they had paid for longer.
Richard Mayissian, who wrote the letter to Cr Dey, said he was "very surprised, (as) no warning was displayed on the meter when I have paid for more than one hour".
Mr Mayissian said similar parking meters on the Gold Coast wouldn't let people put money in them beyond the time allowed.
Stung by the unexpected fine, the visiting family notified Cr Dey about the incident, who is following up with council staff.
Mr Mayissian said the family had visited Byron Bay "very often since 1990 and we love this place", and had spent $1000 in the town over the weekend.
"It's the first time that we have (had) such a bad experience. I hope that you can do something for us," he wrote to Cr Dey.
Cr Dey told The Northern Star he had asked council staff to track down the family's number plates and work out exactly what happened.
"If the machine accepted payment for longer than an hour but the time limit is only an hour, then we need to change that," he said.
"It's not a pay and display system. The whole system is based only on what you punch into the machine.
"The monitoring of your presence after you've paid is also done through that system."