Drivers complain over Peak District pub's parking penalties
Drivers who have parked at a popular Peak District pub are up in arms after being hit by unexpected parking fines.
Many people who have visited the Devonshire Arms in Baslow have taken to travel website TripAdvisor to complain about new charges - levelled at £60 or £100 depending on when you pay.
The pub changed its parking policy earlier this year to stop unauthorised use but many people on the site say they were not aware of the move.
One of the people hit by the charges, Ian Avent, said: “I just went in for a beer with a friend and two weeks later I got hit by a £100 fine.
“I don’t care about the fine - it is the principle of the thing. That beer has cost me £107!
“I called the pub to complain but they came across like they didn’t care.”
The new system logs drivers’ registration numbers as they enter the car park and visitors are meant to give the pub staff their number plate to ensure they do not get charged.
The owners are believed to have brought in the new system as people were using the pub’s carpark as a base from which to explore the nearby Chatsworth estate.
Dozens of others who have been caught out by the new system have also gone online to vent their frustration.
Writing on TripAdvisor, Mark L said: “I am dumbstruck - we dropped in for a drink after walking Baslow Edge and a week later received a bill for £100 for not following their rules on parking.
“We never saw any signs in the car park and no one advised us that we needed to register our car.”
Also on TripAdvisor, beanbeannie said: “Visited Devonshire Arms for meal with my husband and parked on their carpark which we have done many times before.
“Two weeks later a parking fine arrived for unauthorised parking. Disgusted at the way I have been treated for spending good money in this establishment!
When contacted by the Derbyshire Times, the pub’s owners were disappointed at the complaints and say the changes were only brought in to improve the parking situation for people genuinely visiting the pub, restaurant or B&B.
Owner, David McHattie, said: “There are two sides to this story. We have got limited spaces in the car park for and many of them are taken up by people staying with us.
“The car park was always full permanently so we brought in the new system for the sake of our guests.
“There are signs up all over the car park and the pub letting people know they have to register their number plate with us.
“The last thing we want to do is charge our guests for parking and if people come to use after they get a fine we try to sort it out - we have done that 150 times.
“In addition, some of the people who have been charged have been incredibly abusive with us and we will not tolerate our staff being treated that way.”
Have you visited the pub recently? If so did you notice the signs? Let us know on our Facebook page or by emailing [email protected]