‘I’ll go to jail, I don’t care’ - Restaurant owner’s anger after being fined while loading food for self-isolating people
PUBLISHED: 06:55 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:39 27 March 2020
A restaurant owner has demanded an apology after he was slapped with a council parking charge while he was loading food for people self-isolating during the coronavirus lockdown.
Tim Roberts, of Number 29 Bar and Restaurant in Burnham Market, was given the charge right outside his premises in the village’s Market Place.
He said: “I told [the inspector] I was loading because we’re doing deliveries for people who are self-isolating. He just said ‘that’s not my problem’, slapped the ticket down and walked off. I was absolutely furious.”
Mr Roberts said he would contest the £70 charge from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk - but the council has stood by the ticket, saying it will continue to send parking officers out to ensure roads are kept clear for “emergency and essential services”.
MORE: The workplaces which have stayed open during the coronavirus crisis
Mr Roberts added that he had been parked on a single yellow line - and was within the rules to park there while loading a vehicle anyway.
But a borough council spokesman said the ticket would not be revoked.
He said: “The government guidance is that local councils will continue to carry out crucial parking enforcement locally to ensure the public are kept safe and that the roads remain clear for emergency and essential services.
“If the complainant was parked on a yellow line where there are no loading restrictions and was unloading or loading, then he should challenge the ticket issued in the normal way.”
Although Mr Roberts closed his business due the outbreak, he has carried on with a service of delivering food to people’s homes whereby they can pay over the phone and have the goods left on the doorstep, to avoid any contact.
He said he had also been asked to assist the county council’s adult social care team in getting deliveries to people in need.
Mr Roberts said: “I want the council to apologise to me, and also to the people we are delivering to in the Burnham area because we’re the only ones around here who are doing it - and I want them to reprimand the guy who gave this ticket.”
Since sharing news of the parking ticket on social media Mr Roberts said he had been inundated with messages from customers and community members angry that it had been issued, and offers to pay it for him.
But he said: “I don’t care about the money, it’s the principle of it. I won’t be paying it - I’ll go to court and if the court order me to pay it I’ll go to prison, I don’t care.”