Victory for John in car parking battle

Ilkeston strongman John Evans, seen here on Britain's Got Talent last year.
Ilkeston strongman John Evans, seen here on Britain's Got Talent last year.

Record-breaking pensioner John Evans certainly had his head screwed on in his fight to stop drivers parking in front of his Ilkeston house.

Furious with neighbours and takeaway diners leaving a mess, the 66-year-old – famous for balancing items, including a Mini on his head – has spent £3,000 to so he can put metal barriers up on the pavement in Awsworth Road.

Councillors applauded John’s efforts at an Erewash planning meeting last week before voting unanimously in favour of his scheme.

John, who has been battling the nuisance drivers since he moved in eight years ago, said after the meeting: “I’m really pleased. I have had to fight to get this but I have always kept my cool.”

Eight neighbours objected to the plan saying that it would make parking problems worse elsewhere on the road, that the barriers would be ‘unsightly’ and that it could be a ‘safety hazard’ for mobility scooter users, among other complaints.

But John said: “If it was their house that someone was parking right outside of, they would be annoyed too.”

He said drivers often mount the wide pavement in front of his home, especially on match days at the nearby New Manor Ground.

Neighbours mend their cars there and litter from a nearby Chinese takeaway was dropped on the floor, he added.

Cllr Frank Phillips said: “I totally sympathise.

“Some people regard it as their personal parking spot. I am delighted to move approval.”

Former builder John, who has performed a number of head-balancing feats for dozens of charities over the years, said: “It was a gamble and I knew it was going to cost a lot but it’s worth it to have finally won.”