Trucker's anger at �345 loo stop

FELIXSTOWE: A lorry driver has been left fuming after he was caught out by new parking rules at a truckstop - and forced to pay �345 for stopping for eight minutes.

FELIXSTOWE: A lorry driver has been left fuming after he was caught out by new parking rules at a truckstop - and forced to pay �345 for stopping for eight minutes.

Trucker Michael Hobby, 62, who works for Felixstowe-based hauliers Syntex, said he called at the parking areas alongside the BP fuel station in Trinity Avenue, Felixstowe, to use the toilet.

He had used the lorry park many times in the past but had not realised new restrictions had been brought in.

“When I came out of the toilets, a man was clamping my lorry,” said Mr Hobby, of Chepstow Road, Felixstowe.

“I couldn't believe it - my tacho showed I had been there eight minutes.

“The clamper man said there were new signs and you had to register to park. He charged me �300 plus �45 VAT which I had to pay there and then to get my truck back.”

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Other drivers were also furious at the changes and had started a petition.

Michaelises Costi, who manages the site for Motor Fuel Group plc, said the changes had been brought in to prevent some lorries parking for days at a time and others parking on yellow lines.

Drivers could still park for free daytimes as long as they parked in the bays and registered at the shop when they arrived, or pay �5 to park overnight. New signs were in place three weeks before the changes were implemented.

“We had a very lax attitude to parking for many years and some people were taking advantage of this and we needed to rationalise the situation. I have tried to be as fair as possible and am a little bit aggrieved at the complaints,” he said.

Is �300 too much to pay for being clamped? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk