A BUSINESS owner who was slapped with a fine for stopping his Bentley outside Southend Airport for less than two minutes has vowed to take his fight to court.

Jack Whiteley, 72, chairman and chief executive of Glencrest Seatex, based in Southend, said he regularly visits Southend Airport to pick up customers arriving from abroad.

But after he was snapped by a mobile camera car stopping in a restricted zone last July, he has seen an initial £60 penalty rise to more than £160.

Now he is set to be hauled before the county court, where he vows to fight his case.

Mr Whiteley said he had stopped in the zone for a “fleeting” one minute and 24 seconds.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Scene - Southend Airport

“Their parking warden took pictures from his camera car of our car supposedly parked,” he said.

“It is clear from the photographs that I am in the car with the engine running as the running lights are on and I was not therefore parked.

“The fact is that the camera car was also restricting the road and could not be passed which is why I had to wait to pass.

“I can understand the need to control parking at the airport but this is ridiculous.

“It means that you cannot arrange to meet anyone or drop anyone at the airport without paying an exorbitant fee to park just to let someone out or in the car.”

After receiving yet another fine for stopping near the airport earlier this year, Mr Whiteley has vowed to never use its services again - even if it means he loses out on business.

“They use this tyrannical parking company,” he said.

“When they send you their demands you cannot answer them, there are no contact details, no telephone number so there is nothing you can do.

Braintree and Witham Times:

“It took me days to investigate this company, based in Sheffield, just to send my response.

“No-one at Southend Airport would help me.

“As a local business man I and my staff will not be using the Airport, preferring instead to go to Stansted. We have advised all our foreign customers to do the same.”

The Echo approached Southend Airport for comment, which stated that Mr Whiteley is not being taken to court by the airport, but by a private parking firm.