A DRIVING instructor was clamped – after a visit to his girlfriend’s local pub.
Matthew Best says he went to get a permit to park at The Heroes, in London Road, Waterlooville, when clampers struck and issued him with a £125 penalty notice.
The 36-year-old, who works for Advanced Driving Academy, parked up with the intention of meeting his girlfriend Helen McCusker, 29, for a soft drink last Friday morning before a day of teaching learner drivers.
But when Mr Best returned to his car after obtaining the permit from The Heroes – which hires clamping firm BSG Security to make sure motorists aren’t using its car park to go shopping instead – he found it wheelclamped.
Despite calling the police and pleading with the clampers, who have patrolled the car park for eight years, Mr Best was ordered to stump up the hefty fine.
The clampers argued witnesses had seen Mr Best leaving the car park and going elsewhere first.
Mr Best, of Farlington, said: ‘I had left my car for a matter of seconds to get a permit from the pub so I could stay there and meet Helen for a drink. It’s ludicrous that they thought I had gone elsewhere.
‘I went straight from my car into the pub. I knew I had to get a permit because there are signs in the car park which say so.
‘Unfortunately the police couldn’t do anything about the whole thing because it’s legal to clamp.’
If Mr Best had refused to pay up his car would have been towed away at an extra cost of £195.
An extra £25 overnight storage charge would also have been incurred.
‘Because of the hassle it meant I had to cancel lessons I had booked in for drivers, so I ended up losing over £200 on top of the fine they gave me,’ Mr Best said.
‘Clamping is a complete con and the sooner it is brought to an end the better.’
Ms McCusker, of Waterlooville, arrived at the car park moments after her boyfriend was clamped.
She said: ‘I can understand parking fines of £30 because they are a deterrent to people.
‘But to justify fining someone £125 is absolutely ludicrous. I used to enjoy going to the pub. Now I won’t be going back.’
Tony Coles, general manager at The Heroes, said: ‘I have witnesses who say Mr Best went to McDonalds after he parked up before deciding he wanted to use the pub and obtain a permit. We issue parking permits for all of our patrons.
‘There are signs at the car park which say you must not use it to go elsewhere.’