Hayes & Harlington Gazette

Posh shoppers fined daily for parking near Harrods


PARKING wardens say they are having to slap sports cars and ice cream vans parked outside Harrods with fines every day.

Rich shoppers are asking their drivers to wait parked outside the famous shopping store and some are quite happy to pay £65 fines for the privilege.

Mervin Fernandes, 28, works as a parking warden for Kensington and Chelsea and he had to issue fines to a wide range of drivers and claimed he even had to get former Chelsea striker Timo Werner’s car towed after he was parked on double yellow lines by the luxury department store.

Working 12 hours shifts, and clocking up to 17,000 steps, Mervin is regularly telling drivers to move in Knightsbri­dge. He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Sometimes they move, sometimes they get a ticket. There is lots of parking but some people want to be very close. If you don’t find at least eight cars I don’t think you are working properly.”

He added: “Drivers say owners ask them to stay close and if they are not still down there their owners get mad at them. There’s not much we can do about that. They mainly say its a VIP.”

The 28-year-old explained he gave out 15 to 16 fines a day while on shifts across the borough. While on shift in wealthy parts of the borough, Marvin has even fined the owners of Rolls-Royces and antique cars.

To see the scale of the issue the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) joined Mervin on one of his shifts in Knightsbri­dge. During an hour-long walk around Harrods the parking warden had to move on Teslas and Mercedes.

He also put a fine on a bright yellow BMW for parking on a double yellow line while Audi and Porsche sports cars had already been slapped with fines.

While on Basil Street, around the back of Harrods, Mervin was approached by several worried drivers. One said he was waiting for someone to go to the toilet while another said he was just picking up a coffee.

Further down the road Mervin moved on a driver in a Range Rover and the vehicle was later spotted hiding down a nearby side road, again parked on a double yellow line.

Outside Harrods, an ice cream van was also parked up on a double yellow line. He had already been fined that day by another parking inspector.

According to Mervin, he is a regular offender but if business is good that day the ice cream seller is more than happy to pay the £65 fine. Mervin added: “There is an ice cream van that parks on the red route. He gets a PCN fine every day. It’s a win for him. I think he takes in more than he gets.”

Unlike in other areas of the country, drivers can only wait on double yellow lines for 20 minutes in Kensington and Chelsea. Drivers can also only get fined once each day if they are parked in one spot.

But if the car moves and parks elsewhere in the borough inspectors are able to give the driver a second fine.

Mervin told the LDRS he once caught a driver who had already received fines in Notting Hill and High Street Kensington on the same day. The three fines would cost the driver £185. In the past drivers have even tried to bribe Mervin with coffee and in worstcase scenarios, they have got aggressive with him.

He said: “Most of the time people just say stuff and just walk away. Once in a blue moon someone gets aggressive towards you and tries to get in your personal space. They are more aggressive towards [female parking wardens]. Body cameras would be really helpful.”

To deal with threats parking wardens have to be given special training on how to cope if someone becomes intimidati­ng. He is able to speed-dial the police on his radio.

Residents also park on double yellow lines despite having permits.

Mervin says he often fines drivers for parking in private mews. In these cases, residents often want to just park closer to their homes.

 ?? JACOB PHILLIPS ?? A sportscar with a fine close to Harrods
JACOB PHILLIPS A sportscar with a fine close to Harrods

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