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Parking attendants seen handing out penalty tickets on Esplanade, Rochester, during Dickensian Christmas Festival

By Clare Freeman

Scrooge has been out in force during the Rochester Dickensian Christmas Festival say motorists who have complained that council parking attendants were swooping almost mob-handed to dish out penalty tickets.

There were also angry comments about the park and ride service put on for the event with one person describing the queues at the Dockside Outlet centre as “an absolute joke”.

With more than 30,000 people attending the event yesterday and trains being replaced by buses, traffic quickly built up around Rochester.

Queues at Strood Train Station. Picture: Lisa-Marie Crane.
Queues at Strood Train Station. Picture: Lisa-Marie Crane.

Lee Grimsey said he had seen five parking attendants putting tickets on at least 30 cars on the Esplanade.

Posting on Facebook he added: “You go out for the day to spend money on local produce and these blood suckers are fining everyone. I even witnessed a lady crying when she realised she had a fine.

“This is pitiful and disgusting. We didn’t get a ticket and turned around and came home. Surely the residents don’t mind parking along the road for two days a year?”

A park and ride service has been operating from Chatham Dockside and Blue Bell Hill, but some users found they were waiting hours for buses.

One festival goer, using the Twitter handle @longtallshazza, said: “The park and ride service is an absolute joke. I’ve been queuing for an hour and a half at Chatham Dockyard.”

Whilst another, Dawn Southwood, tweeted to say she had been stranded in traffic for three hours trying to leave Strood Station car park.

Paul Dickson added: “Not enjoying the Dockside Centre P&R bus service - lengthy queues and no notice about the change of pick up stop. Very poor.”

Did you get a parking ticket or have you been held up in the queues? Let us know in the comments or email medwaymessenger@thekmgroup.co.uk

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