A PENZANCE businessman says that Cornwall Council should warn motorists if it is planning to clampdown on parking charges for night visitors to the town.
Robert Matthews, director of the firm which owns Sound nightclub, Up Bar and The Vault, said he has been told that Cornwall Council is planning to use an "after hours" team to tackle drivers not paying car parking charges at night.
"The warden (at Wharfside) told me that a team had been put together which would cover the whole of Cornwall's car parks late at night," he said.
Currently, at Penzance's council-owned car parks, the fee for a session of parking from 6pm to 12.30am is £2.
But Mr Matthews says most people using Penzance car parks in the evening do not currently get a valid ticket.
He says it is only fair to let people know if the car parks are going to be patrolled in the evenings.
"I've used the Greenmarket car park four or five nights a week for almost 30 years," he added.
"I've never paid for a ticket and I've never ever received a fine. The perception is that you don't have to pay.
"I can understand that Cornwall Council may want to enforce the regulations more strictly but they should let people know.
"At the moment there are about 30 people working at Sound who park in the Wharfside car park on a Saturday night. It would be horrendous if they all came out of work at 5am and found they'd been fined £35 each."
The Cornishman contacted the Cornwall Council press department but it refused to confirm or deny the existence of an 'after hours' team.
A spokesman said: "Civil enforcement officers (CEOs) can be deployed at any time of the day or night when and where restrictions are in force.
"Motorists should comply with the parking restrictions in force at any time to avoid being liable to being issued with a penalty charge notice."
And when asked, a second time, if a special 'after hours' team had been assembled, the spokesman added: "We don't announce when we will be carrying out enforcement activity – the point is motorists should comply with parking regulations and if they do not do so risk getting a penalty charge notice."
On the Cornwall Council website however, it does say: "In practice enforcement will usually be carried out within normal working hours, including Sundays."