A FAMILY-run tea rooms say a privately-run parking scheme beside Tintern Abbey is deterring customers from their business and the area.

The Hayward family have run the White Monk Tea Rooms since 1952, but claim the car park run by the Anchor Inn, in partnership with Cadw and the Crown Estate Commissioners, has hit their trade.

While the £3 all-day parking charge has been in place for the past year, planning permission was only granted last month by Monmouthshire County Council, which concluded that the parking meters didn’t impact on the conservation area.

Sam Hayward, 34, of White Monk Tea Rooms, said: “We weren’t informed of it. The parking times correspond with our opening times – they don’t correspond with Tintern Abbey’s or the pub. To me it feels personal.”

Charges operate from 8am until 6pm, and are redeemable if you make a a purchase from the Abbey gift shop or the pub.

The Abbey is open from 10am until 4pm and the Anchor Inn from 10.30am until 11pm.

Mr Hayward said: “We have seen people drive off again after seeing the parking charges. This system is confusing – lots of people think they can redeem their ticket with us.”

Cllr Anne Webb said: “I feel sorry for the White Monk. I am concerned about the parking really – the test will be in the summer time when the majority of walkers come.

A Cadw spokesman said: “The system has been in place for over a year and has worked well, with fewer complaints about parking.”