A DISABLED couple were fined £100 for stopping their car at a port to look at the sea for 15 minutes.

Martin Rowland, 71, and his partner Anne Rutherford, 76, say they have been avoiding the seafront in Brighton and Hove during the pandemic and have instead been going to Shoreham Port to get some fresh air, as it is less busy.

The couple, who live near the Brighton bandstand, were shocked to receive a £100 fine in the post after a trip to the port, at the far end of Basin Road, on January 13.

Martin said: “We went down there a lot during the first lockdown, as you can sit and watch the sea... it’s like parking right on the sea wall.

“Back then they had a man coming round putting tickets on cars.

“This time we were the only car there as it was a rainy day and we were just sitting there with the windows down.

The Oldham Times: Martin was sent a photo of his car when he received the £100 fineMartin was sent a photo of his car when he received the £100 fine

“We didn’t see anyone but we got a letter through the post with a photo of our car, saying we’ve been fined £100.

“If this is the way they’re doing it they should be warning people.”

Martin appealed against the fine, issued by parking company GXS Services, and initially had no luck.

After writing to the port authority, his fine has now been waived, but he says he wants to warn others, particularly during Covid-19.

He said: “They don’t make it obvious to people you are being photographed if you stop.

“The logical thing would really be for someone to come and talk to us. We were only there for about ten to 15 minutes.

"But the way it's working makes it very easy for them to earn hundreds of pounds.

“If we were going to park and go for a walk we would have paid to park, but I can't walk very well and we were just sitting there.

“In these very trying times I think people should be warned as life is difficult enough at present.”

A spokesman for GXS Services Ltd confirmed Martin’s fine had been waived.

He said: “The vehicle concerned was parked without purchasing a valid cashless session.

“The terms and conditions of parking are clearly explained in the signage on site which also states that Automatic Number Plate Recognition will be in use.

“We understand it can be upsetting to be issued with a Parking Charge Notice. We urge drivers to observe and comply with the terms and conditions of parking when deciding to park their vehicles.”

A spokeswoman for Shoreham Port said: “Like in many car parks, our parking partner GXS uses a combination of physical ticketing and camera enforcement.

“There are clear signs that state that CCTV is in use in Basin Road, and that Automatic Number Plate Recognition is in use for parking enforcement purposes.”