Anger over £250 trespass notice given to tradesman who claims he parked for only FIVE minutes as a lorry blocked Screwfix car park at Ransomes Europark
A self-employed tradesman has slammed a “disgraceful” £250 trespass notice after claiming he only parked outside a business blocked by a lorry at Ransomes Europark for around five minutes.
Thomas Wray, 27, said a Screwfix lorry was blocking access to Screwfix’s car park at the industrial estate in Ipswich. He said he had to park his van on the pavement.
He received a letter from Proserve Enforcement Solutions which said he had committed an unauthorised trespass and was liable for the damage amount of £250.
The fee is reduced to £180 if paid within 14 days.
Mr Wray and his fiancée Chelsea Lydford, 24, who both live in Badingham near Framlingham, had their appeal dismissed by Proserve Enforcement Solutions.
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The young couple is now considering court action.
Mr Wray, who runs bespoke kitchen and joinery company Thomas Jack Wray & Co, said: “It was a complete and utter shock. You could understand if it was a £30 fine or something but…£250 is just extortionate.
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“These are tough times and as a tradesman trying to earn a decent living, I think getting stung for something as silly as that for that amount of money is disgraceful.
“It is like I have done something incredibly wrong. I just don’t feel it is fair.”
Miss Lydford , a self-employed hairdresser who works from home, said: “I think it is very unfair and disgraceful. It wasn’t his fault. He was picking up an order from Screwfix he had ordered on the internet but the car park was full and being blocked by the Screwfix lorry.
“So he went up on the kerb instead to run in and grab it. He was around five minutes and the £250 fine was a big shock.
“You get less for speeding and you are endangering someone there.
“It just seems disgusting when you’re just trying to do things right, run a small business, work hard for a living and then you get screwed over by a fine that big.
“He has not parked there for the sake of it. He couldn’t park on the road because of the double yellow lines and decided not to park on the road to not cause more obstruction.
“If you park in another company’s car park you will probably get in trouble. It is a no-win situation. The only option was to park on the pavement. There was nowhere else to park.
“We are not paying the fine.”
The parking offence took place at 10.44am on February 12.
A spokesman for Proserve Enforcement Solutions said the appeal has been dismissed and declined to comment further.
Proserve Enforcement Solutions is not a member of British Parking Association (BPA). According to the AA, non-BPA private enforcers may continue to issue tickets under contract or trespass law. Parking conditions must be clearly signed and any disputes resolved through the civil court.
Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA, said: “The amount they are charging is gross. It is as bad as the days of clamping. We can’t have people charging this amount of money for a parking misdemeanour.
“Clamping was made illegal and so should people trying to charge this amount. It really is wrong and I know there is some debate in the legal situation at the moment about the difference between trespass notices and parking charge notices but I believe they are all tarred with the same brush and that no-one can justify a charge of that amount. It is completely immoral.
“If the person is absolutely sure of their position and has got photographs, maybe a witness statement – Proserve will have to take them to court to have their day.
“Whatever the person did could have been dealt with by someone asking him to move his (van). In the space of five minutes, he could not have been very far away from it.
“Anybody has the right to ask DVLA for information if there has been a trespass and it is just that parking companies have to jump a few more loops to get the information.
“If the person has got enough evidence and feels brave enough, and are sure that they can show to a court that it was unfair, they should make Proserve take them to court. But they would need to take legal advice before they do that.”
A DVLA spokesman said: “DVLA’s policy is that enforcement companies such as Proserve should be a member of an Accredited Trade Association (ATA) in order to request DVLA data. However, the requirement for Proserve to join an ATA is currently subject to judicial review proceedings. Pending the outcome of the judicial review, DVLA is conforming with a court order requiring that requests for DVLA data from Proserve are continued to be processed.
“DVLA can disclose data to private enforcement operators under Regulation 27 of The Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002, where there is reasonable cause for the data to be disclosed.”
A Screwfix spokesman said: “As this is a legal matter, it would be inappropriate for Screwfix to comment.”
The Land Group, which owns Ransomes Europark, declined to comment.