Driving instructor hits out at £170 fine after Winerack wait

The Winerack on Ipswich Waterfront won Best High Volume New Housing Development Award at the Local A

A driving instructor has hit out at Winerack management and Total Car Parks after he was fined for waiting 30 minutes until the start of a lesson - Credit: Genesis

A dispute over parking at The Winerack, in Ipswich, has left a driving instructor facing a £170 fine. 

Driving instructor Ken Spink set off early to pick up his student on October 8 2021, fearing that traffic would be bad at some of the roadworks in Ipswich town centre. 

But when it was surprisingly clear, he found himself waiting half-an-hour for the lesson to begin in the car park at The Winerack flats in Regatta Quay. 

Total Car Parks said that 30-minutes "extends beyond either picking up or dropping a pupil off" and on October 15 issued a charge of £100, with an offer to reduce to £60 if paid within 14 days. 

Mr Spink said: "I went into the car park and waited for my student, then gave a short brief of what we would be doing on that lesson, leaving the parking area with her driving the car. 

"When I received the fine letter, I contacted Total Car Parks to explain the situation and appeal their charge but it was rejected. 

"I contacted my student to tell her what had happened, and to enquire who the manager was so I could telephone and explain that I was there for a legitimate purpose of meeting a learner student, who was a resident, for her driving lesson.  

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"I did not enter the area for any other reason other than to pick-up my student, and did not leave the car at any time, other than to exchange places to allow my student to drive."

Tom Bartlett, senior property manager at EWS Property Management, which manages The Winerack, said: "We do operate a 15-minute grace period to allow for deliveries and visitors, but we were suffering from delivery drivers parking in our car park and making all their deliveries around the waterfront. 

"Sometimes it could be hours before they came back. 

"It's also possible for residents to let management know that someone will be visiting and we can add that registration to the list of approved vehicles for that day. 

"We think 15 minutes is reasonable; it shouldn't take longer than that to pick up or drop-off." 

Mr Spink, who says he is in a 'no-win situation', claims that his student did not know of the parking restrictions.

A letter delivered on October 20 by The Winerack management explained the changes and that any outstanding charges would be waived as goodwill - but this was five days after Mr Spinks was issued with a fine. 

A further letter saying Mr Spinks owes £170 to Total Car Parks was delivered in December.