Norwich man could lose VW van over parking ticket

A retired builder is facing losing his van and having to pay �260 over an unpaid parking ticket – even though he says he paid the �50 bill over a year ago.

Bailiffs representing Norwich City Council visited the home of Maurice Robinson, 66, in Mount Pleasant, Norwich, yesterday morning and slapped a notice on his VW Transporter van warning it was going to be sold to make up some of the debt he owed. The father-of-two was also served with papers fining him �260 to cover the legal costs of pursuing the case against him.

Mr Robinson received the ticket when he visited his daughter Joanna Crisp, 29, in Branford Road, Norwich, to carry out some work to decking at her home in July 2009.

He parked his van in Branford Road, close to the junction with Spencer Street, where one hour waiting restrictions are in force. He returned one hour and nine minutes later to find the parking ticket.

He failed to pay the ticket within the 28-day time limit, losing a �25 discount and receiving a letter from the council warning him to pay up. On November 14 he paid �50 to the council, but then received further letters demanding �75 and �43.16 to cover the extra legal costs from his case.

He then paid an extra �30 to cover costs, but the bailiffs arrived in person yesterday.

Mr Robinson accepted he had overstayed the waiting restriction, but added: 'I am a bit miffed. I mean, it is only a damn parking ticket isn't it? When I spoke to the council I said 'why are you hounding me for money?' and he said 'it is costs that have accrued to be added to the debt and it is what the figure is now.'

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'It is beyond belief that they would go that far for a parking ticket. I feel it is their way of getting every penny they can out of you.'

But a council spokesman said if the ticket had not been paid within 70 days of being issued it became a county court matter, a notice of debt registration was sent out and a �5 court fee added.

She said: 'Twenty one days after the notice goes out, a warrant will be issued if there is still no payment and we instruct bailiffs to recover the debt on our behalf. Bailiffs add their own costs to the outstanding debt.'