'Bring it on' - teaching assistant taking on parking giant over charge

B&M are opening a new store in Norwich like the one pictured at the Riverside Retail Park Picture:

The Riverside Retail Park car park in Norwich. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

A teaching assistant disputing a long-running parking charge has said "bring it on" to a national company after he was late back to his car from a medical emergency.

Ian Duckmanton, 52, from Vera Close in Rackheath, received a £42 penalty charge notice (PCN) after he overstayed the two-and-a-half hours of free parking at Norwich's Riverside Retail Park near B&M, owned by Highview Parking, for around 30 minutes in summer 2018.

The special needs teaching assistant, who was happy to pay the initial charge, said: "If you abuse parking you should pay the fine. I was aware I was over the time but was next to this person who was going to harm himself.

"I was saying to Highview I didn't deny the charge but said it would be reasonable to waive the charge. The company completely ignored it and I got was an automated response to review the appeal. There is a complete lack of compassion.

"These organisations are using bullying tactics to get money. It is an inhumane process.

"After getting a letter from solicitors for Highview saying I'll go to court, I say 'bring it on.' I've got a mischievous side and am quite feisty and if I have to pay the charge, so be it."

After a period of no letters from Highview and DCBL bailiffs, for a year he received a letter from DCB Legal writing on behalf of Highview a month ago threatening court action after the PCN had risen to £142.

A Highview spokesperson said the 52-year-old did not take up the option to an independent appeals service over the PCN which was why it was passed onto DCBL bailiff services.

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They added: "The motorist's appeal was rejected in August 2018, on the grounds that he left the retail park - by his own admittance."

Mr Duckmanton, who was working for a voluntary organisation at the time of getting the PCN, claims he was delayed because he helped an overseas student who was threatening to harm himself near the Queen of Iceni Wetherspoons pub.

He later tried to help someone who injured himself by falling over and offered first-aid, which was declined.

The teaching assistant said many people would get distressed by parking companies' tactics.

DCBL and DCB Legal were approached for comment but did not respond.