Retired firefighter defeats parking fine in Gorleston

A retired fireman turned sleuth to overturn a parking fine he was wrongly slapped with in Gorleston High Street.

Arthur Sayers, of Bradwell, visited the high street for lunch, drove out of town to Next to return a shirt, then went back to visit Wilkinsons.

Parking wardens clocked him when he was buying lunch and when he was at Wilkinsons, and mistakenly thought he had been parked there all along - exceeding the 30 minute maximum stay.

So the 70-year-old dug out a pile of receipts to corroborate his story - even requesting CCTV footage from Next - and successfully defeated the �60 fine.

But Mr Sayers says he wants the matter investigated further and fears others may not be able to prove when they have been wrongly fined.

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'I'm not happy that they rescinded it as I want to take them all the way and get to the bottom of things,' he said. 'My sons said 'just let it go dad, just pay it'.

'But why should I? There should be more people who stick up for their rights.'

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Mr Sayers was given the parking ticket on Wednesday, October 17 while parked in a 30-minute maximum stay bay with no return allowed within 30 minutes.

He explained he went to Berry's restaurant at 1pm and came out around 1.22pm, and 'unbeknown to him' was clocked by a warden.

Afterwards he drove to Next on the Harfrey's Estate, and CCTV dug out by the store's manager shows him arriving at 1.25pm.

He said he was 'in there ages' and the receipt says 1.59pm, then he returned to the high street on the same side of the road but further up outside Wilkinsons.

He went in to buy household products including washing up liquid, and when he came out saw he had a parking ticket - timed from 1.22pm to 2.12pm.

Mr Sayers refused to pay the �60 fine - which would have been reduced to �25 if pay in 14 days.

And while his appeal was successful, he also demanded the resignation of the head of parking services and �100 and a bunch of flowers for his wife as 'compensation'.

All of these requests were refused, but parking bosses have apologised for the error.

Michael Chillingworth, parking service manager, said: 'Each case is taken individually, and when someone appeals it's investigated.

'If there's been an error we automatically cancel it, and we do learn from errors being made.

'In this particular case it's quite a large area and we only have one officer there. He has the whole of Gorleston to do.'

He added around 7,000 tickets are issued each year and around 5pc of the total are appealed, but wardens are 'only human' and occasionally errors are made.

Cllr Michael Jeal, the cabinet member responsible for parking, said he was sorry for the error, but that the ticket was rescinded on appeal and that is where the matter should end.

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