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Relax the parking rules during crisis, urges carpenter fined three times

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 April 2020

Patrick Rea has been fined three times. He urged the council to relax parking restrictions to help struggling families. Picture: Patrick Rea

Patrick Rea has been fined three times. He urged the council to relax parking restrictions to help struggling families. Picture: Patrick Rea

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A man fined three times for parking offences has urged the council to suspend charges, saying fewer spaces are free now people are at home under lockdown.

Patrick said it's been a struggle to find sufficient parking space because so many vehicles are still parked during the day. Picture: Patrick ReaPatrick said it's been a struggle to find sufficient parking space because so many vehicles are still parked during the day. Picture: Patrick Rea

Patrick Rea, of Stamford Gardens, Dagenham, has to pay £390 after being fined by the council for parking his work van outside his home on April 3, 15 and 16.

The 38-year-old said: “When everyone is home at the same time, we’re short of about 15 spaces so it’s difficult to park. There aren’t enough.

“Spaces are awkward lengths. Some are the length of a washing machine, others a car and a half. It’s really tricky to park. I don’t mind paying into the system, I just want it to be fair.”

He claimed that an increase in the number of dropped kerbs also means parking is limited.

The self-employed carpenter added that the £390 fine was causing him even more stress at a time when he’s lost three weeks’ worth of business and has cancelled the next four weeks because of the lockdown.

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“We’re all under duress. We’re not at home because we’re having a holiday,” Patrick said.

His appeal was dismissed by the council, but Patrick insists that, to help people struggling to get by, town hall chiefs should temporarily relax restrictions.

“We’re all trying to do our best to park responsibly, but some of us have to park over bays or on single yellow lines to squeeze everyone in. I’m sure I’m not the only one having a problem.

“I understand you need to keep the highways clear. I’m not saying don’t issue tickets for causing an obstruction,” he said.

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said existing parking restrictions won’t be lifted during the pandemic for safety reasons because it is obliged to keep roads and highways free for access to emergency and refuse vehicles.

Neighbouring Newham has already suspended the issuing and requirement to display parking permits due to the impact of Covid-19, although dangerously parked vehicles or those causing an obstruction are dealt with.

The spokesman said Patrick’s case was considered in accordance with the Traffic Management Act 2004 and the fact his vehicle is for commercial use is not an excuse.

“His challenge does not warrant the cancellation of the penalty charge notice,” he added.


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