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Driver's fury over parking fine

PUBLISHED: 20:15 25 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:45 03 March 2010

A FELIXSTOWE pensioner says he is prepared to go to court to over a parking fine which he has branded as "harsh and unjust".

Motorist William Grout, 79, was given a ticket for leaving his vehicle on part of an area of a seafront car park designated for coaches.

A FELIXSTOWE pensioner says he is prepared to go to court to over a parking fine which he has branded as "harsh and unjust".

Motorist William Grout, 79, was given a ticket for leaving his vehicle on part of an area of a seafront car park designated for coaches.

But he says he had only been parked there for a few minutes and was waiting for the driver in front to move off so that he could take that place.

"It is very, very harsh and unjust. I am not paying them and they can do what they like – they can take me to court and I will fight them for the sake of the other elderly and disabled people of Felixstowe," he said.

He had been parked in the Suffolk Coastal council car park in front of the Spa Pavilion in Undercliff Road West.

"My car was unlocked, the doors and windows wound down, and we had only just got out and were a couple of yards away by the parking meter," said Mr Grout, of the Collimer Court sheltered housing compex, Walton High Street.

"Then a council car parks warden suddenly came up and stuck a ticket on our car windscreen.

"He said we were parked in the coaches area, which which we were – the top end of it.

"I tried to explain that I had only parked there a few moments earlier and I was just waiting for the car in front to leave so I could park in a space for cars.

"But he would not listen at all . . . and he would not remove the parking ticket."

Mr Grout was accompanied by his estranged wife Sandra, 54, who lives in a separate flat at Collimer Court. She is currently confined to a wheelchair.

They had parked outside the Spa Pavilion as it was one of the few areas with easy access to the promenade.

They had an orange badge to allow them to park in other areas, but did not like to abuse its use. Mr Grout said there were few parking spaces set aside for the disabled in car parks and streets in the town compared with other resorts.

He had been in touch with his local councillor Mike Deacon and also the Disability Coalition over his concerns.

"The council should be doing more for the disabled than it does – and they have not taken our circumstances into account over this parking fine at all," he claimed.

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal council said: "Mr Grout has submitted an official complaint to the council about the issuing of the parking ticket which is currently being investigated.

"Mr Grout will receive a letter explaining our decision in the very near future."

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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