'It is a cash cow' - vicar's warning after being slapped with parking fine

Ken Hobbs was issued a PCN issued by Civil Enforcement after parking at The Port of Wells car park in Wells

Ken Hobbs was issued a PCN issued by Civil Enforcement after parking at The Port of Wells car park in Wells - Credit: Google Maps/St John's in Stoneleigh

A vicar has warned fellow drivers against using the car park which resulted in him being slapped with a £60 fine.

Ken Hobbs, a semi-retired reverend from Attleborough, was hit with a parking charge notice (PCN) after using the Port of Wells car park last month. 

The site, managed by Civil Enforcement, charges £1 for anyone wishing to park their car on the quayside after 6pm.

Ken Hobbs, a semi-retired reverend from Attleborough, was fined after parking in Wells

Ken Hobbs, a semi-retired reverend from Attleborough, was fined after parking in Wells - Credit: St John's in Stoneleigh

Rev Hobbs maintains he paid the required fee having arrived after 6pm on April 21, but his subsequent appeal was rejected. 

The notice said he had not paid "in accordance with terms displayed on signage".

Rev Hobbs has, therefore, ended up paying 60 times the original charge. 

Civil Enforcement failed to respond to this newspaper's request for comment. 

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“I protested it, they rejected it," said Rev Hobbs. "I paid up, but I want people to know my experience. 

“I thought to myself 'are they really protesting over a pound?'. Who would not pay a pound for a parking space? It is peanuts."

“I thought appealing was the best I could get out of it, but sadly the system is not geared towards certain circumstances or people’s welfare. They are out to get you; it is a cash cow for these people.”

Mr Hobbs, who is now the vicar at St John's in Stoneleigh, Surrey, had noticed the car park's terms a day prior to stopping there.

He met friends for a meal in Wells, before leaving at 8.25pm. 

The 75-year-old did not get a receipt, but said the coin slot had opened up after he entered his Kia’s registration plate.

Rev Hobbs suspects the machine did not take into account the reduced parking fee applicable after 6pm, or that its internal clock had not adjusted. 

Ken Hobbs, a semi-retired reverend from Attleborough, was fined after parking in Wells

Ken Hobbs, a semi-retired reverend from Attleborough, was fined after parking in Wells - Credit: St John's in Stoneleigh

After receiving his PCN, he wrote to the Port of Wells but did not hear back. He was contacted by North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker, who was sympathetic to his situation.

Rev Hobbs is now intent on warning others against parking in the same location - and he is not the first to be stung there. 

In April, two other motorists spoke out after they were penalised following a visit to Wells. 

Rev Hobbs said he plans to park on the outskirts of Wells in future, before walking or cycling into town.