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Man, 74, given £100 parking charge after helping his wife into hairdresser’s

PUBLISHED: 12:07 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:03 22 July 2020

The General Townsend Club on Cattle Market St, Fakenham. Picture: Google Maps

The General Townsend Club on Cattle Market St, Fakenham. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

A north Norfolk man said “a bit of compassion would have been nice” after he received a £100 parking charge as he helped his wife into the hairdresser’s.

Brian Baker, 74, from Fakenham, was assisting his wife Hilary, who suffers from severe sciatic pain from a trapped nerve in her back, into the salon in Cattle Market Street on July 9.

It was the first time Mrs Baker had been out since the lockdown and she was looking forward to getting her hair cut.

Not wanting to park on the narrow street, Mr Baker parked the car at The General Townsend club, which is just across the road from the hairdresser’s.

He parked in the private car park for two minutes and 34 seconds, thinking he was making the road safer. He took her to the door and got straight back in the car.

A few days later, a penalty charge notice (PCN) came through from National Parking Enforcement, for £100, lowered down to £60 if paid off within two weeks.

They paid the fine, saying “at our age, we don’t want a legal fight.”

Despite this, Mrs Baker said, “It does feel a bit unfair, but we didn’t feel we would get anywhere by ringing them.”

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Mr Baker was upset with himself over the fine and he said: “I felt gutted, sick and stupid because you know I could have stayed on the road and taken her in and broken some other laws. I didn’t go with any intention to do that. We thought it would be better and safer in the car park.”

Looking back on the fine, Mr Baker wished somebody looked at the details of the incident.

“There is no point in going down that road but a bit of compassion would have been nice”, he said.

“I suppose I would have liked someone to look at it and see it wasn’t intentional. It happened, but I wasn’t aiming to park there all day.

“When you look at two minutes, you can hardly get out of the car at that time.”

Mrs Baker had her treatment delayed for her sciatic pain because of the coronavirus.

She said she “struggles to walk more than 20/30 paces without having to stop or sit down.” This meant the pair could not park somewhere else and walk to the hairdressers.

A spokesperson for NPE said: “The hairdresser’s have their own car park directly in front of the salon, which had plenty of space to drop off the lady on that day.

“The driver chose not to use the hairdresser’s car park and decided to park directly in front of a warning sign on someone’s private land.

“There is also a pay and display car park 10 yards away which the driver could have parked in, but again chose to park on private property. If the driver was unhappy about the charge they could have appealed, but they chose not to do that either.”


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