Norwich dad praises ‘common sense’ as parking firm u-turns on £100 fine

Les Harris, pictured with his daughter Aisha, was fined �100 for parking illegally but Jonathan Leca

Les Harris, pictured with his daughter Aisha, was fined �100 for parking illegally but Jonathan Lecaille from National Parking Enforcement has refunded him and given Aisha a gift voucher. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A Norwich dad is celebrating a victory for 'common sense' after a parking firm admitted it was wrong to hand him a £100 parking fine for stopping to tend to his sick four-year-old daughter.

Les Harris, 61, of Skelton Road, Heartsease, was caught on CCTV after he parked on Harvey Lane for three minutes to tend to his four-year-old daughter Aisha, who had been sick in the back of the car.

Now the managing director of National Parking Enforcement (NPE) - the company who issued the fine - has not only offered to cancel all charges against Mr Harris but has also presented Aisha with a £20 toy voucher.

It comes after our paper first alerted NPE to the problem earlier this week.

Mr Harris said: 'I'm pleased that common sense has prevailed. I'm grateful I stood up for myself and I'm pleased with the outcome. I'm elated in fact.

'The company did do something about it and fair play to them for doing so.'

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The problem began on December 18 last year, when Mr Harris parked from 11.50am to 11.53am outside Hartlands Fish and Chip shop and Hotspot Takeaway.

He received an initial fine of £60 in the post on December 29. After ignoring it, he received a further fine of a total of £100 on February 22.

Managing director of NPE, Jonathan Lecaille, said: 'Having taken a closer look at the issue that Mr Harris faced and the circumstances surrounding the issue of the ticket I am not entirely satisfied that the gentleman perhaps deserved the charge in the first place.

'Having said this, if Mr Harris had in fact followed the standard procedure of making an appeal through our appeals process that appeal would have been accepted. The appeals are all handled on an individual basis and whilst we do not have to take mitigating circumstances in to account we often do.

'It is though very unfortunate that drivers are still under the misconception that parking charge notices issued by private parking companies are unenforceable and do not need to be paid, this is not the case.'

Mr Lecaille has instructed NPE's administration and payments division to cancel all charges for Mr Harris.

The NPE, based in Wymondham, manage over 400 locations across the United Kingdom and are prevalent within Norfolk.

Grace Periods

The International Parking Community is an accredited operator scheme which sets out a code of practice for parking enforcement companies to follow.

In it, part B section 15, sets out the rules on grace periods.

15.1 Drivers should be allowed a sufficient amount of time to park and read any signs so they may make an informed decision as to whether or not to remain on the site.

15.2 Drivers should be allowed a minimum period of 10 minutes to leave a site after a pre-paid or permitted period of parking has expired.

15.3 The reference to 10 minutes in 15.2 above shall not apply where the period of pre-paid or permitted parking does not exceed 1 hour providing that the signage on the site makes it clear to the motorist, in a prominent font, that no grace period applies on that.