ON OPENING last week's Westmorland Gazette I immediately noticed the letter from Keith James of Ulverston regarding the parking fine of £100 he received from HX Car Park Management Ltd overstaying by 22 minutes at Cartmel Racecourse.

I parked there on November 14 along with 13 other mountain bikers for a day's riding in the area. On arrival at the car park I saw a sign which asked me to buy a ticket on arrival. There was a considerable amount of smaller print underneath which I could not read from the car. I took this to mean buy a ticket in the morning and not on departure in the afternoon. I drove across the car park and parked facing a wooden fence and fields beyond, There were no other signs visible. As it was early and a very cold day I decided to have some coffee in the car while waiting for other club members to arrive. Eventually I got my bike ready for the day, and with others went over to buy a ticket. I bought a ticket for a full day's parking (24 hours) for £6. We then went out riding for the morning, returning at lunch time to buy food and drink in the local cafes and pubs. We returned later in the afternoon. I entered the car park at 9.21am and left at 4.10 in the afternoon.

Well, what have I done wrong to receive a parking fine a few days later for £100? Apparently the small print on the entrance sign says that you should buy a ticket within 15 minutes of arriving. I arrived at 9.21am and bought a ticket 18 minutes later, unaware of the 15-minute rule.

So, despite buying a full day's ticket and staying for less that seven hours I am required to pay £100 for three minutes' delay in getting the ticket. HX Car Park Management have suffered no loss of any sort because of my three minutes' delay. I am in dispute with HX, which involves a lot of letter writing and form filling. Another friend in our group received the same £100 fine, again for not getting his ticket within 15 minutes. Needless to say, we won't ever be visiting Cartmel again.

W Jackson, Windermere