SCORES of Bexley shoppers were stung by £60 fines for not buying a parking ticket on Good Friday - despite it being free on bank holidays.

Wardens targeted car parks in Sidcup and Bexleyheath, even though it clearly states on the payment meters that "bank holidays are free".

Met Police PCSO Curt Capell was horrified to return from having his haircut to discover a penalty charge notice slapped on his car’s windscreen in Oaklands Car Park, Bexleyheath.

The 28-year-old, of Wessex Drive, Slade Green, said: "I told him it says free parking and showed him the sign.

"I asked the officer to cancel but he said I would have to contest it because ‘my boss has told me to do it and I’ll get sacked if I do’.

"Is this what the country is coming to?"

Mr Capell said the Bexley Council parking warden had ticketed a number of cars in the Bexleyheath town centre car park, and added: "I had a bit of a go at him - I’d only stopped for 15 minutes.

"With all the evidence I had to back me up he couldn't cancel it. Now I have to waste time contesting the ticket."


Meanwhile, over in Sidcup chaos broke out in Main Road Car Park as two parking wardens slapped fines on unsuspecting motorists’ cars.

John Coleman arrived with his two sons around lnoon and said he was told by the attendant: "We know it’s free, but we want you to dispute the ticket directly with the council after we issue it and you will then not pay."

The 35-year-old, of Carlton Road, Welling, said this infuriated the crowds of people gathered next to the machine and that police officers arrived to ease tensions.

Eventually Mr Coleman bought a ticket to avoid being issued with a fine and headed into the High Street for a meal but said at least 10 people had been fined.

He added: "The attendants were there when I returned one hour later still issuing fines.

"I feel this is a disgusting way for the public to be treated and this cannot continue.

"Maybe Bexley Council should be fined for any incorrect ticket issued that day?"

Council response

A Bexley Council spokeswoman said: “We sincerely apologise to the four motorists who received Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) in error on Good Friday and confirm that these have been cancelled to avoid further inconvenience for the affected motorists.

“We are in discussion with our contractor to prevent further similar instances from occurring in the future.

“We can confirm that no PCNs were issued in such circumstances on Bank Holiday Monday.”