Parking wardens strike outside Ilford church on Good Friday
A Catholic priest has asked the Mayor of Redbridge for clemency after 30 worshippers received parking tickets during a Good Friday service.
Parishioners of St Peter and Paul church, in High Road, Ilford, had parked on double yellow lines during the Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion service, which they claim they do every year.
But parking wardens struck just after 3pm, slapping penalty notices on more than 30 cars, according to the priest Rev Andrew Headon.
Mr Headon told the Recorder: “I know it was a Bank Holiday but people have always parked on the yellow lines on Good Friday for the service. They were livid.
“Of course they were in the wrong, but the council have a duty of fairness, and they should have been notified.”
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In his letter to the Redbridge Mayor, Cllr Jim O’Shea, Mr Headon added: “This church was founded in 1898 and more than a thousand parishioners attend the Church every week.
“How they parked last Friday was no different, I imagine, to how and where they have traditionally parked throughout their life on that day. I don’t know why parking tickets were issued for the first time this year.”
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He went on to assure the mayor that he will remind parishioners that it is illegal to park on the double yellow times at any time.
Ilford South MP Mike Gapes has written to Redbridge council in defence of the churchgoers, branding the move “absolutely absurd.”
A week later, at least two cars received fixed penalty notices in Lyndhurst Gardens, Newbury Park, on the April 29 while their owners were inside watching the Royal Wedding on television. They had mistakenly believed that usual restrictions had been lifted for the bank holiday.
A spokesman for Redbridge Council said: “The Council has always undertaken parking enforcement of all applicable parking restrictions on Bank Holidays. This is to make sure that the intended benefits of the restrictions, such as improved road safety and reduced congestion are achieved.
“The recent public holiday on the day of the Royal Wedding is no exception.”