Mum’s ‘emer­gency’ stop for daugh­ter costs £110

Wo­man ‘flab­ber­gasted’ at fine for bus stop drop-off

Hayes & Harlington Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

A MUM from Ruis­lip was fined £110 for stop­ping at a bus stop for just 25 sec­onds so she could drop off her part­ner, who was tak­ing their des­per­ate child to the loo.

Joanna Bird was driv­ing home with her part­ner and daugh­ter Lili when the five-year-old announced she needed to go to the loo ‘re­ally badly’.

The 42-year-old book­binder knew there were no pub­lic toilets in the area, and drove for more than a mile be­fore her daugh­ter told her it was ‘now or never’.

Miss Bird pulled up be­hind a string of other parked cars in Hatch End, north west Lon­don, af­ter spot­ting a string of restau­rants where her daugh­ter could dash to the toi­let.

Her part­ner, who was sit­ting in the back of the car with his daugh­ter, quickly got out of the car and rushed around to get his daugh­ter be­fore tak­ing her to a restau­rant to use the fa­cil­i­ties.

As soon as the pair were out of the car – in just 25 sec­onds – Miss Bird moved her car and went to look for a side street to park in.

Un­be­known to Miss Bird, how­ever, her ev­ery ac­tion was be­ing mon­i­tored by a cam­era op­er­a­tor, who clocked that she had stopped in the bus stop.

The op­er­a­tor recorded the ‘in­ci­dent’ on cam­era and sent five still frames from the CCTV footage show­ing the ‘of­fence’ to Miss Bird, along with a fine de­mand­ing pay­ment of £110.

The im­ages from Har­row Bor­ough Coun­cil show the black VW Golf pulling up at the end of the bus stop at 17.42 and 25 sec­onds, with its haz­ard lights on.

The five stills from the CCTV footage show Miss Bird’s part­ner, who asked not to named, and daugh­ter dash out of the car, with Miss Bird zoom­ing off at 17.42 and 50 sec­onds.

That is 25 sec­onds spent at the bus stop, mean­ing the £110 fine works out at £4.40 per sec­ond.

The ‘of­fence’ took place on a quiet Sun­day evening (June 19) as Miss Bird and her fam­ily were driv­ing home to Ruis­lip.

Miss Bird said: “When I saw the restau­rants I made a de­ci­sion that I had to stop.

“I knew it was a bus stop, but that wasn’t my big­gest con­cern at the time and I wasn’t plan­ning on park­ing there for any length of time.

“I saw that other cars were parked on the same stretch, so it was safe to stop and I wasn’t block­ing the road.

“My part­ner and daugh­ter got out of the car as fast as they could and I was gone straight away and parked round the corner.”

She said she was ‘flab­ber­gasted’ when she re­ceived the £110 fine.

She added: “It’s when things like this hap­pen that you lose your faith in hu­mankind - I can just see that cam­era op­er­a­tor rub­bing his hands with glee as he saw me park­ing in the bus stop.

“I parked for a to­tal of 25 sec­onds – it was an emer­gency, and I left as soon as I had dropped off my daugh­ter and part­ner.

“If that’s worth a £110 fine then I’m a mon­key’s uncle.”

She is ap­peal­ing against the fine un­der the sec­tion headed ‘com­pelling grounds’.

Bosses at Har­row Bor­ough Coun­cil say mo­torists can ap­peal against any PCNs.

I knew it was a bus stop, but that wasn’t my big­gest con­cern at the time and I wasn’t plan­ning on park­ing there for any length of time”

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