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St Nicholas Church in Sevenoaks could fine drivers who use car park

By Kent Messenger reporter

Workers and shoppers now face a £100 fine for using a church car park after mourners were unable to find a space for a funeral.

Those who took up the spaces at St Nicholas Church, some of which were High Street workers, were asked to move to make room for the funeral but allegedly refused.

Mourners were instead forced to find and pay for parking in the town centre.

St Nicholas Church in Sevenoaks where parking has become an issue
St Nicholas Church in Sevenoaks where parking has become an issue

This was the final straw for the Rectory Lane church, which said it has been facing this problem for many years, with people attending its events unable to use the car park.

Flashpark is now being used to police the 60 space car park.

Church staff give an informal warning notice first, but if somebody returns, their details will be passed on to the company.

St Nicholas' operations director, Sue Stimson, said: "We are not making any money out of this – indeed it is costing us money to manage the car park.

"Our congregation understand why we have had to do this and have been supportive of the action taken."

The new system, in place since September, has implemented signs to warn drivers of the potential penalty.

Mrs Stimson added: "The signage clearly shows the fines do not apply to drivers attending a church event or using the church facilities."

It comes as the KM found a lack of long-stay parking in Sevenoaks.

There are less than 30 spaces available in the town centre for longer than five hours during the week.

Bradbourne Park Road car park has 420 long-stay spaces, but is a 15-minute walk away from the main shopping hub.

Adrian Redmond, general manager at The Oak pub on Sevenoaks High Street said: "Parking in Sevenoaks is terrible. It's inconvenient for staff- I do split shifts and have to do the school run and having to walk back and forth 15 minutes each way doesn't fit into the time frame."

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