Couple slapped with 100 parking fines for using own space

Lauren Titcomb with her partner Constantinos Aristotelous

Lauren Titcomb with her partner Constantinos Aristotelous - Credit: Contributed

A couple who both work for the NHS were slapped with more than £10,000 worth of fines - for parking in their OWN space. 

Lauren Titcomb, 31, and her partner Constantinos Aristotelous, 37, received more than 100 parking tickets between March 2020 and December 2020 while they worked in highly stressful jobs in the midst of the pandemic at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

This was despite the fact they had a valid parking permit and left their car parked in their own space at a locked compound in Geoffrey Watling Way next to Carrow Road.

Miss Titcomb is a respiratory physiotherapist and her partner a head and neck surgeon. 

But while the public were clapping NHS workers every Thursday, Norwich Traffic Control (NTC) was bombarding the couple with parking tickets, often while they were asleep after a stressful shift.

The couple's parking permit at the time they were receiving the fines from NTC

The couple's parking permit at the time they were receiving the fines from NTC - Credit: Lauren Titcomb

The initial £100 fines leaped to £264 per ticket when the shocked couple understandably refused to pay.

Miss Titcomb said: "We were shocked and incredibly upset. During a time when the pandemic was at its height and the whole country were told to stay at home we would spend the day in the hospital looking after Covid patients.

"Only to then return home to rest and find that while we were asleep, these people had broken the law to place parking tickets on a doctor's car that had a permit in a locked compound.

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"They were purely motivated by gaining financially from an unprecedented time when the public were most vulnerable." 

The couple lived in Geoffrey Watling Way until December 2020 when they moved to Cambridge.

Geoffrey Watling Way, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Geoffrey Watling Way, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Their vehicle was parked in the staff car park at the hospital during the day but then the tickets were mostly issued between 11pm and 1am.

"On two occasions they placed two tickets in the same time period between 10pm and 6am," Miss Titcomb added.

NTC allegedly threatened the couple with six court summons through a Northampton court but after they asked Norwich Magistrates' to review this, NTC withdrew them in the days prior to the hearing.

NTC has been contacted for comment.

Reported to trading standards

The couple reported NTC to the British Parking Association (BPA) who raised suspicion over the parking signs.

BPA's logo is included in the bottom corner of the parking signs in Geoffrey Watling Way.

The Evening News has seen an email sent to Miss Titcomb by the BPA investigations team which says NTC will be reported to Trading Standards unless they "remove the logo from the signs as soon as possible".

The NTC parking signs in Geoffrey Watling Way

The NTC parking signs in Geoffrey Watling Way - Credit: Contributed

But a spokeswoman for BPA, who is not part of the investigations team, said: "There is an IPC logo in the bottom left hand corner, which shows they are a member of the IPC and follow their code of practice.

"Private parking is just one business area of the BPA, so it is possible to be a BPA member and, if a private parking operator, a member of either the IPC or our Approved Operator Scheme (AOS)."