Bexleyheath and Sidcup shoppers slapped with £60 fines despite 'free parking' signs

This Is Local London: Police arrive to calm down crowds of disgruntled drivers in Main Road Car Park, Sidcup Police arrive to calm down crowds of disgruntled drivers in Main Road Car Park, Sidcup

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."

Chaos

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.”

Comments (7)

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11:13am Wed 3 Apr 13

oldblackfener says...

I think that it would be easy for people to interpret, rightly or wrongly, events (even ‘errors’) involving parking enforcement in Bexley as purely revenue earning opportunities.
I always thought that parking restrictions, quite reasonably, were there to permit the free flow of traffic but the council created congestion in Bexleyheath does give the impression that that objective is not one of their top priorities.
With many of the borough’s streets having had for decades signage erroneously inviting motorists to park partly on pavements anywhere in those streets but where, in fact, it is only permitted ‘in marked bays’ is a case in point; particularly as the markings of said ‘marked bays’ are all but invisible in most locations.
The council are well aware of this situation as the News Shopper carried an article on the subject some while ago but they have not apparently seen fit to rectify the very longstanding error.
It seems quite reasonable to me that law-abiding motorists should be able to stay ‘legal’ by obeying that indicated on the displayed signage rather than having to resort to interrogating archives of official documents or ‘official notices’ in ancient editions of newspapers.
I think that it would be easy for people to interpret, rightly or wrongly, events (even ‘errors’) involving parking enforcement in Bexley as purely revenue earning opportunities. I always thought that parking restrictions, quite reasonably, were there to permit the free flow of traffic but the council created congestion in Bexleyheath does give the impression that that objective is not one of their top priorities. With many of the borough’s streets having had for decades signage erroneously inviting motorists to park partly on pavements anywhere in those streets but where, in fact, it is only permitted ‘in marked bays’ is a case in point; particularly as the markings of said ‘marked bays’ are all but invisible in most locations. The council are well aware of this situation as the News Shopper carried an article on the subject some while ago but they have not apparently seen fit to rectify the very longstanding error. It seems quite reasonable to me that law-abiding motorists should be able to stay ‘legal’ by obeying that indicated on the displayed signage rather than having to resort to interrogating archives of official documents or ‘official notices’ in ancient editions of newspapers. oldblackfener

2:48pm Wed 3 Apr 13

mouthalmighty says...

Ay?
Ay? mouthalmighty

7:54pm Sat 6 Apr 13

GODUPERE2 says...

THE PARKING CONTRACTOR PAYS BONUS FOR TICKETS ISSUED SO THEY ARE INCENTIVISING THEIR EMPLOYEES TO ISSUE TICKETS RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY. BEXLEY COUNCIL NEED TO GET A GRIP ON THIS. THEY ARE INCOMPETENT OAFS.
THE PARKING CONTRACTOR PAYS BONUS FOR TICKETS ISSUED SO THEY ARE INCENTIVISING THEIR EMPLOYEES TO ISSUE TICKETS RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY. BEXLEY COUNCIL NEED TO GET A GRIP ON THIS. THEY ARE INCOMPETENT OAFS. GODUPERE2

7:54pm Sat 6 Apr 13

GODUPERE2 says...

THE PARKING CONTRACTOR PAYS BONUS FOR TICKETS ISSUED SO THEY ARE INCENTIVISING THEIR EMPLOYEES TO ISSUE TICKETS RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY. BEXLEY COUNCIL NEED TO GET A GRIP ON THIS. THEY ARE INCOMPETENT OAFS.
THE PARKING CONTRACTOR PAYS BONUS FOR TICKETS ISSUED SO THEY ARE INCENTIVISING THEIR EMPLOYEES TO ISSUE TICKETS RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY. BEXLEY COUNCIL NEED TO GET A GRIP ON THIS. THEY ARE INCOMPETENT OAFS. GODUPERE2

5:30pm Sun 7 Apr 13

cherithporter says...

I'm so glad an apology was made.
I'm so glad an apology was made. cherithporter

1:38am Sun 14 Apr 13

Snooper says...

You have to question the obvious financial motives of anybody working on a Bank Holiday. If the Borough has signed a location as FREE with specific indicators to when and then deploys wardens to place tickets in contradiction, is strongly suggestive of questionable practises. Legally and politically. As Government cuts back on the level of funds handed over to Local Authorities, the short fall is not addressed by over charges of services internally, but throwing ‘entrapment’ dice in the path of the Tax Payer. As each ticket is rightly disputed, so more Tax payers money gets miss spent – Letters warning about unpaid ticket fines, threats of Court or Bailiff. As each Warden works on Bank or national Holidays, yet more Tax Money gets spent.
The fact that wardens clearly lack a basic education with regards the ability to ‘simply check’ notices BEFORE acting arrogantly and throwing, bonus earning fines, is a worry. But who is checking the intelligence or ensuring common sense levels of these wardens to start with??
You have to question the obvious financial motives of anybody working on a Bank Holiday. If the Borough has signed a location as FREE with specific indicators to when and then deploys wardens to place tickets in contradiction, is strongly suggestive of questionable practises. Legally and politically. As Government cuts back on the level of funds handed over to Local Authorities, the short fall is not addressed by over charges of services internally, but throwing ‘entrapment’ dice in the path of the Tax Payer. As each ticket is rightly disputed, so more Tax payers money gets miss spent – Letters warning about unpaid ticket fines, threats of Court or Bailiff. As each Warden works on Bank or national Holidays, yet more Tax Money gets spent. The fact that wardens clearly lack a basic education with regards the ability to ‘simply check’ notices BEFORE acting arrogantly and throwing, bonus earning fines, is a worry. But who is checking the intelligence or ensuring common sense levels of these wardens to start with?? Snooper

1:53am Tue 16 Apr 13

BigG says...

They get paid on the amount of pcn's they issue. Right or wrongly. They told one of their victims, that he could get it cancelled clearly knowing he shouldn't have issued it. Bexley council issueing statements of apologises only because its in the paper, or you would have had to through their bulls*** corrupt system.
Always appeal your tickets to the Adjudicator as you will be surprised how Bexley break the rules, jsut like they did on Bank Holiday. Dirty Bas****s! Can see a lot more of these arrogant F**** getting hospitalised because they push the wrong buttons with people. Someones always gets rich out of these Scams and it aint the motorist. Funny how the Government don't step in and sort them out. If I was to use menancing means of fraud to extort money out of people, I'd get banged up.
They get paid on the amount of pcn's they issue. Right or wrongly. They told one of their victims, that he could get it cancelled clearly knowing he shouldn't have issued it. Bexley council issueing statements of apologises only because its in the paper, or you would have had to through their bulls*** corrupt system. Always appeal your tickets to the Adjudicator as you will be surprised how Bexley break the rules, jsut like they did on Bank Holiday. Dirty Bas****s! Can see a lot more of these arrogant F**** getting hospitalised because they push the wrong buttons with people. Someones always gets rich out of these Scams and it aint the motorist. Funny how the Government don't step in and sort them out. If I was to use menancing means of fraud to extort money out of people, I'd get banged up. BigG

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