Mo­tor­ing Instructor launches ap­peal against park­ing fine

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By ROBIN JENK­INS robin.jenk­[email protected]­

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

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