Poll: Carpenter say clampers’ �630 fine near Duke Street could force me back on the dole

CARPENTER James Hurd thought thieves had stolen his van after he found it was no longer in the parking space of his Pownall Road home.

But the 53-year-old found it had been removed by clampers – and they were demanding hundreds of pounds to return it to him.

The van had a resident’s parking permit in the window, but clampers Aspire Parking Solutions said it was not allowed to park in Mr Hurd’s space because it was a “commercial vehicle”.

And because they classed it as a commercial vehicle, the fine was larger than it would be for a private car.

After 24 hours they were demanding �630 for its return, and said they would be charging �40 a day storage fee for it after then.

Mr Hurd bought the eight-year-old Ford Transit last month for about �1,500 and it contained his tools.

He said: “I cannot get �630 just like that and the money is going up every day. I’ve called Aspire but they just say it has to be paid.”

Most Read

Fighting back the tears, he added: “This is it. I really wanted to get back on my feet but this is killing that – I’m going to have to go back on the dole.

“I can’t see how they could see my van as a commercial vehicle, it’s a private vehicle, there’s no writing on it. It’s just a plain vehicle.”

Carl Thompson, of Aspire Parking Solutions, said there were clear notices that said commercial vehicles were not permitted in the residents’ parking area.

He said: “This was a Ford Transit. It is much larger than a car. It’s a commercial vehicle and there are clear signs that commercial vehicles are not permitted on this site.

“We are enforcing the rules – it is something that should be taken up with the managing agents.”

He said the company did not allow people to pay by instalments for the return of their vehicle – the total sum would have to be paid before it was released.

If it was not released, eventually the vehicle would be disposed of.

Mr Hurd is a tenant of Flagship Homes housing association – however the development is managed by another company, Home from Home which took over the management three weeks ago.

Edward Ottley, from Home from Home, said there was concern among residents about parking enforcement in the area and he was especially concerned about Mr Hurd’s case and the “disproportionate” penalty that was being sought from him.

He said: “There will be a residents’ meeting next week and I know that parking issues are at the top of the agenda. Hopefully there will soon be some changes.”

Mr Ottley had spoken to Aspire Parking Solutions and had discussed the contract with them.

Should there be a limit on parking charges? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk