Victory for Thanet entertainer as ‘disingenuous’ Lido parking fine is scrapped

Gordon says he will continue to campaign for signage despite having the fine withdrawn

Veteran Thanet entertainer Gordon (Battell) Clarkson has won his battle to have a ‘disingenuous’ parking fine withdrawn.

The performer was slapped with a £100 fine for spending six minutes in Cliftonville’s Lido car park in August despite not parking or even turning off his engine.

The 57-year-old, best known as children’s entertainer Simple Simon, has now been notified that Parking Eye Ltd – which controls parking at the site – will not contest his appeal so the fine has been scrapped.

Gordon had driven into the car park with passengers, his late wife’s cousin, Jean, and his granddaughter Rosi, with the intention of showing them the sun terrace, where the theatre and the Jamaica Bar had been.

He said there is no indication that motorists will be charged simply for entering the site and has vowed to continue to campaign for signs to be put up at the entrance.

He added: “I am relieved that my appeal was successful, however this does not mean that I am going to leave it there. I wish to create a public pressure group to insist that the company install appropriate signage warning motorists that even to enter the Lido site in any capacity will incur a parking charge.

“I would like this as well as a barrier to prevent access to allow motorists to be aware and make their own decisions. The fact is that even if you enter the car park and decide that you are not happy to leave your car there you will still be charged for entering.

“As people have pointed out, the site is not well kept and is not secure, with a great deal of uneven surfaces and so most people would choose not to park there on inspection. The company rely on scaring people to pay up and this must be changed.

“My final point is that I believe that it is being run as a revenue gathering operation more than a car park, and the company are disingenuous and their practice is unfair. I intend also to write a complaint based on these points to the British Parking Association.

“On talking to the BBC editor from Watchdog, I found out private parking companies in Britain apply a parking charge for similar occurrences every four seconds so this is a nationwide problem.”

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.” However, this sign is inside the car park so the charge will already be incurred by the time any motorist reads it.

ParkingEye has yet to respond to our request for comment.