Thanet entertainer vows to fight ‘disingenuous’ £100 fine for spending six minutes in Lido car park – without parking

Gordon says he will fight the parking charge

Veteran Thanet entertainer Gordon (Battell) Clarkson is bracing for battle after being slapped with a £100 parking fine for spending six minutes in Cliftonville’s Lido car park.

The performer says he did not even turn off his engine, let alone park, and has vowed to fight the ‘rip off’ charge.

The 57-year-old, best known as children’s entertainer Simple Simon, had taken his late wife’s cousin, Jean, and his granddaughter Rosi out for tea at the Walpole Bay Hotel and afterwards took them for a drive down to the promenade.

He said: “I drove them down to the prom by the Lido and Jean asked what the building was. I told her a little of the history and layout and then offered to show her the sun terrace, where the theatre and the Jamaica Bar had been.

“I drove down the slope, did not park in any of the bays, but paused where the old stage door was for less than a minute, then drove slowly round the sun terrace pointing out the buildings and what they were when I worked there. I then drove out.”

Gordon, who lives in Margate, says he was gobsmacked to receive the penalty charge, which reduces to £60 if paid before September 17.

He said: “The parking charge notice included a photo of my car with an arrival time of 4.19pm and a departure time of 4.25pm.

“If I pay the £60 that is £10 per minute. I have pointed out that I didn’t park, I didn’t even stop the car, but the big thing is there is no sign to say you will be charged just for entering the site.

“I’m angry because I think they are being disingenuous and are just revenue gathering. It isn’t the money, I’m not wealthy but would pay if I was in the wrong, but I didn’t even go in a parking bay.”

Mr Clarkson has written to ParkingEye and points out: “When you park a vehicle, you drive it into a position where it can stay for a period of time and leave it there.”

He said: “Rosi put something on facebook and lots of people responded to say they had also had problems. Even if they say I don’t have to pay I am going to campaign until there is a proper sign there saying you will be charged for driving onto the site whether you park or not.”

The ‘small print’ on one of the parking signs does state: “By parking, waiting or otherwise remaining in this car park, you agree to comply with the parking contract, including making payment as required,”

The sign does not address whether motorists driving in, finding the car park is full and then leaving, would also be liable for a charge.

ParkingEye has been contacted for a response.


    • I wont count on your support then. I dont believe I was wrong as I knew I was not going to stop the engine or get out. I wasnt and didnt park, and I didnt know you would be charged just to drive onto the estate. All I want is proper and appropriate signage. Surely that is reasonable to help others being caught?

      • I agree totally with what you say Gordon, and the ten minutes grace period, is implemented around many public car parks.

        If they want you to pay upon entering, they should introduce a barrier entry/exit system.

        As you said, what happens if a vehicle drives in, and the car park is full, are they still expected to pay?
        Good point.

        • They will never put a barrier system in at The Lido carpark, as no one will go in. It is empty all of the time, now. The only money they make is though fines. I have a friend who works for the Council, and they have told me that they have had fines for driving in to empty the bins. Good use Council tax. All of the regular staff have been told not to enter, but agency staff are not always reminded not to go in. It is just a money spinner for the parking company. I suppose the best thing is to appeal and say you normally have a caravan on the back, and all fines will be not be chased up and forgotten.

  1. It’s just a rip off scheme allowed by the government DVLA as these rip off companies get the vehicle owners address immediately online so it can make these ridiculous charges.
    In a similar rip off I was charged £70 two days after I was one minute over the limited time in Margate Aldi car park whilst christmas shopping in there a couple of years ago. They have two cameras watching you drive in and out again. The signs are high up on the posts and not very big or noticable so not many people know until a penalty charge comes through the post.
    The car park at Margate poundstretcher is even more expensive but most people now realise the rip off and the car park is usually empty like the Lido car park. It’s not as if the car parks are looked after by these companies either, they are a mess. It is down to the owners of the car parks what they do with them but these rip off charges will just drive people away from their businesses when they become aware of it after being caught out.
    It is something that is growing but it needs better regulation to stop the rip off penalty charges.

  2. These companies are ripping people off. As for traffic wardens the should fine car drivers who occupy our pavements completely blocking pedestrians right of way for disabled people mother’s with buggies we have lots of takeaway outlets in Margate their delivery drivers flaunt the law on pavement parking double yellow lines mean not to park there which is the job of wardens to endorse to little yellow lines on pavement is for police to enforce. Instead of petty little matters in car parks by charging people just for pausing just for a few minutes which you are allowed to do. Roll on pedestrianised areas in the town to help the climate and healthier for people to use their legs for instead of abuse of pavement use as car parking.

    • I’m pleased to say that’s just what the traffic wardens in Ramsgate did recently in Church Road. On the side nearest the church it gas been the habit of drivers to park on the narrow pavement there, completely blocking it for pedestrians.
      They paid a visit one day, and ticketed every car on the pavement.
      A week or so later, some drivers hadn’t got the message, but they did get another ticket!

    • This is misleading. It may have happened to your late husband, but in general if you don’t pay you risk getting another fine, or your fine being increased in stages until the amount is a staggering four figure sum.

  3. You’re not obliged 2 pay it so don’t give them thieving scumbags a penny. It would b a shame if someone destroyed the camera so they can’t keep robbing people!!

  4. I received a fine in the Lido car park last year when I was parked there for part of the day and had paid for an amount of time that I went over by about 15 minutes. The ticket that came out of the machine stated the arrival time only, not the departure time, which I included in my appeal. The appeal was rejected, predictably. The only concession I got was an extension of the two weeks in which to pay the reduced amount of £60, as in that time the appeal was made. It is totally unacceptable what is happening at the Lido car park, and if the council can’t do anything about it, the police should. Is it legal to immediately issue a charge to someone whom you have photographed driving onto your property? Could I charge anyone who steps into my drive-in, as it is my property? Is there a trespass law that allows this?

  5. Mixed feelings on these private car parks. Without some form of enforcement people abuse them. The lido would be permanently full. A ten minute drop off limit ought to be free. Personally never use any of them and would rather walk as the horror stories like these are all too common.

  6. Why should there be a 10 minute grace period? If there was, then (for example) pay for an hour and regularly come back after 70 minutes. Then people would start coming back after 75 minutes, and demanding a 10 minute grace period on the 10 minute grace period.
    It’s quite simple and straightforward. If you think you’re going to need to park for 55 minutes, assume that something will delay you. Don’t get an hour’s parking, get an hour and a half.
    Even better, ditch the car and walk or take the bus. Absolutely no problems with parking them.

  7. I think Andrew must own a private parking company lol.. I got told by a lawyer there is nothing a private parking company can do.. Can only send 3 letters and then can’t ask for money again. Tested this out and its true..

    • Why do you think this? Previous postings by Andrew indicate that he strongly disapproves of private car ownership.

  8. I agree Andrew must be benefiting from these rip off parking companies, otherwise he would be agreeing with the normal human beings on here. I would check the law, then tell them to take me to court if they want the money. With no chance of winning it is unlikely they would want to.

    • That’s exactly what they might do. Take you to court. And if the court finds in their favour, you could have the bailiffs banging on your door, should you fail to pay.
      The guy went onto private property. He should have paid to park. He didn’t. Got a penalty charge.
      Swallow it. Cough up.

      • Dear Andrew, it seems to me that you have missed the salient points in this situation in that I did not park, and if I were to have stopped to read the very vague and very small print, would have been given the parking charge anyway. I would like to help make this clear to save others from being targeted in this way, and a lot of people understand the point I am trying to make to change this unjust practice, not just locally, but nationwide. There is a piece on the One Show tomorrow about this, should you wish to widen your knowledge and perhaps your opinions.

    • Why do you, Dave Hogan, assume that Andrew is not “normal” ? Is it only because he doesn’t agree with you on this subject? Or do you think that you know him personally?

      I agree with him that people should be minimizing their use of private cars- am I normal?

  9. That’s dangerous advice.
    You could end up being sued in the Small Claims Court.
    This whole argument is not in the interests of most motorists. If people ignore the signs, and park all day or all week, it means that parking spaces are denied to other drivers.

  10. This car park and others that have cameras and require a numberplate on buying a ticket should not be allowed to operate. Basically if your vehicle is caught on camera but your numberplate is not registered on the ticket machine, you get a fine regardless of time spent or whether the vehicle was actually parked at all! Horrible money making schemes that should not be allowed when there are perfectly legitimate ways of charging appropriately for parking and applying the relevant fines for those that take advantage_ which is clearly not the case here! Good Luck Gordon!

  11. He didnt park just paused ! But drove around for 6 minutes 6 minutes driving in a very small car park. The camera takes your picture when arrive and leave. How is the camera to know you didnt park but only paused ? How is the camera meant to know you were only driving around and around the car park ?

  12. I do think there should be a time that allows you to drive in and out for free. Once you see the price for parking you might thinks it’s cheaper else where and choose to leave straight away

  13. How can it be legal that you enter a car park without knowing the price of parking ? You go to the machine see the price and than go else where that’s cheaper but get a 100quid fine just for entering the car par without knowing the price ?

  14. I agree with Andrew and as for Gordon if he’s a local he should have known better as everyone knows to avoid the Lido carpark by now. As for the comments about traffic wardens they have absolutely nothing to do with these private parking companies, the ones you see wandering around town work for the council.

    • Hopefully, Julie, by the time I have finished, everyone will know about the Lido car park. I certainly wouldnt have entered the top car park, but thought it was ok just to drive round, but now I know better. I think you may be making a bit of a wide sweeping statement by saying if I was local I should have known.This practice is a nationwide issue. Watch the ONE SHOW tomorrow to learn more.

  15. I pulled into the Lido car park feeling a little unwell and wanting some fresh air. I did not park in a bay nor did I switch off my engine but just got out to take a quick breather. I have received a notice for a 5 minutes parking and a charge of £100. I appealed and was asked for medical evidence! I cannot believe how stupid these people are. The sooner government gets a grip of these cowboy opportunists the better. Will I be paying ant money? Certainly not.

  16. Same thing happened to me.
    I kept replying to threatening letters with “I didn’t park” and “where’s your evidence that I did”.
    Eventually they gave up.
    The parking for the snooker down the bottom is free and when I checked there was no notice about having to register.
    If you want a technique for building up a record of how their data is unreliable, send me a personal message.

  17. Same thing happened to me.
    5 min 18 seconds spend in that car park cost me a £100 wich I found recently(I am not planing to pay).This car park is distroing the reputation of the town.

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