Fined dad slams theme park for meters that expect parkers to be ‘psychic’

A dad has slammed a UK theme park after he was slapped with a £60 fine despite paying for a ticket.

Ben Jones, 37, took a trip to Fantasy Island in Skegness with wife Anneka and four-year-old daughter Sophia, Grimsby Live reports.

According to a long Facebook thread about the controversial Smart Parking Ltd-owned on-site car park, the machine is meant to automatically calculate how much you should be charged.

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However, unsuspecting customers are being sent huge parking charge notices for not paying the correct tariff despite paying exactly what the machine appears to ask for – £2.

But it has since emerged that the machines create confusion.

Mr Jones wrote: “We had taken our daughter to the indoor soft play centre. We saw the sign in the car park and understood the tariff is in two-hour slots.

“We were coming up to two hours so we decided to move to another car park.

“In big letters, the sign states that ANPR automatically calculates the length of stay from when you enter to when you leave.

“The instructions on how to pay tell you to enter your number plate onto the meter screen and pay for your parking.

“The lowest amount you can pay is £2 and '2.00' automatically comes up on the screen, but people are thinking that the '2.00' means two hours of parking.

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“I genuinely thought I had paid the right amount but a few days later I get a penalty charge notice

“I've since found out the machines do not calculate your stay, so the '2.00' is the cost per hour of parking and I was supposed to psychically know that I should add time on using a '+' button on the far side of the machine.”

It turns out that the automatic calculation is not actually automatic and it has to be manually entered by the customers.

But to make matters worse, if you do not pay the fine, you will be charged £100 after 14 days with an extra £10 admin fee if it isn't paid after 28 days.

Mr Jones, one of many complaining, added: “There needs to be clearer signs to tell people that they will need to change the tariff dependant on their length of stay.

“Nobody has any spare money at the moment, especially money to pay a parking firm crazy amounts of money like this.”

The Daily Star has reached out to Smart Parking UK Ltd for comment.

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