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Seven Kings vicar rues free parking initiative after receiving ‘frustrating’ fine

PUBLISHED: 16:38 30 September 2014 | UPDATED: 16:38 30 September 2014

Rev Jonathan Evans next to a Redbridge parking meter

Rev Jonathan Evans next to a Redbridge parking meter

Archant

A vicar has been slapped with a £30 fine even though his car was parked within the free half an hour time limit.

Parking for the first 30 minutes is free Parking for the first 30 minutes is free

Redbridge Council introduced free 30 minute parking at the beginning of September in pay and display areas outside Ilford town centre.

But the popular initiative left Rev Jonathan Evens, of St John the Evangelist, St John’s Road, Ilford, out of pocket after he failed to pick up ticket from the parking meter in Gants Hill last week.

He said: “Having free half an hour parking makes a lot of sense for businesses and people in the area but it was not clear on the machines that I needed to get a ticket.

“My reaction was one of frustration. Most people’s assumption is if it is free you can park there without doing anything else.

“To discover I had got a £30 fine is frustrating.”

Mr Evens has now paid the fine, because it was “more hassle” having to appeal the fine which he received last week.

“Paying the fine is very simple but I cannot appeal the fine the same way,” he added.

Mr Evens said he will not be making the same mistake again.

“I now know I have got to get a ticket,” he added. “It is not obvious on the meter you have to look very closely. You had to read the whole thing.

“It has been well publicised that there is free parking [in Redbridge] but whether the process you have to go through has been well publicised or not that is another question.”

Free 30 minute parking was one of several pledges made by the new Labour administration ahead of the local elections earlier this year.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said the parking machines in the borough clearly state motorists should “press the green button for a free 30 minute ticket”.

He did, however, add the initiative’s details have been made clearer on the council’s website in light of Mr Evens’ complaint.


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