Motoring Instructor launches appeal against parking fine
DRIVING instructor Richard Leonard is furious after receiving a £100 parking fine – for teaching a pupil how to park.
He insists he was in the NCP Portland Street East car park in Cheltenham to teach a pupil how to park in its bays.
Mr Leonard said he had done so many times over the last 20 years and never had to pay to do so.
He was shocked when NCP sent him a parking charge notice, along with photographs of the front and rear number plates on his Citroen.
The car park operator said it showed he had parked there on March 27 from 5.44pm to 6.33pm, but he had not paid for his stay.
Mr Leonard said he had only been there to help his pupil during her driving lesson.
He said: “I’ve been using this car park to teach people how to do bay parking.
“The new driving test which started nine months or so ago incorporates
forward and reverse bay parking and so we have to teach our pupils that.
“So I was here and I have been many times, teaching people to bay park – how to reverse into bays and drive forward, left and right, into bays.
“And then all of a sudden I had a letter from NCP, saying I was illegally parked.”
Mr Leonard, who lives in St Paul’s and is an advanced driving instructor, has sent an appeal against the fine to NCP.
He added that it seemed very harsh as he was carrying out a service to people and was not trying to avoid paying for parking.
He said the cameras that took images of his car were relatively new and the fine had put him off using the car park for lessons in the future.
In a statement, NCP said: “The customer was correctly issued with a PCN (Penalty Charge Notice) as he was in our car park for nearly 50 minutes and didn’t make a payment at any stage.
“Our terms and conditions clearly state that we expect customers to pay for their parking, and our signage throughout the car park highlights both this and the tariffs that we charge.
“We do have a 10-minute grace period where we give a customer the opportunity to enter our car park and leave within 10 minutes without making a payment, but this customer was in our car park for 49 minutes and 20 seconds.
“We can confirm that the PCN still stands.”
Driving instructor Richard Leonard with the parking ticket