Popular ferry port pub forced to clampdown on car park misuse VIDEO
A popular pub situated close to an Isle of Wight ferry has said it has been left with no choice but to introduce a new automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system, because of people consistently 'misusing' its car park.
The Fishbourne, based near the Wightlink terminal, said it is not uncommon for vehicles to be left in its car park for the day, or even a week, while people travel off the Island.
The pub said those who arrive early for the boat also, regularly, use the car park as a waiting area.
As it only has capacity for about 30 vehicles, the pub said it is a serious problem. Over the years it estimates it has cost it thousands of pounds, due to lost custom and having to pay staff to check vehicles.
To prevent it from happening in the future, the pub hired an external company to install a 20 foot camera, which picks up the licence plate of vehicles arriving.
Customers using the car park must enter their vehicle's registration on a touch pad inside the pub.
Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £100.
Phil Gilbraith, group general manager at the Inns of Distinction, which runs The Fishbourne, said something had to be done: "It's certainly not our intention to cause any upset to any of our guests.
"What we hope is it makes things better for our guests in that they always have a parking space, as it should be."
"We're not in this to make any money from it at all.
"We receive zero income from parking fines that may be applied. That is down to the administrative company."
A couple who dined at the pub told the County Press they received a fine, after being caught out by the new system.
They claim staff did not tell them and signage was not clear.
They have appealed and managed to get the fine down from £100 to £20, but help from the pub has not been forthcoming, they said.
Mr Gilbraith insists the pub has offered assistance in appealing but it cannot influence the process, as fines are issued by the external company.
He said there are at least seven signs in the car park, as well as two inside the building, and that all staff are trained to tell customers.