Ilkeston businessman racks up ‘ridiculous’ £350 fine on FREE parking ticket - but council says it was right to issue penalty notice

Mark Morgan-Gunn, 36, who owns Food2U in Ilkeston
Mark Morgan-Gunn, 36, who owns Food2U in Ilkeston

An Ilkeston businessman has been hit with a £350 fine over a free parking ticket in the town.

Mark Morgan-Gunn says he displayed the free ticket when he parked his van in the Club Row car park near Bath Street.

The ticket used by Mark Morgan-Gunn which he say was blown out of his van by strong winds.

The ticket used by Mark Morgan-Gunn which he say was blown out of his van by strong winds.

He claims he did not notice the strong winds that blew it out of view before he closed the door.

After coming back from an errand just 20 minutes later, he says found a Penalty Charge Notice stuck to his windscreen.

Since June 2017 when the incident occurred, Mark has been appealing to the council to try and overturn the charges as he feels a fine on an originally free ticket is “ridiculous”.

However, they haven’t been accepted, meaning his original fine of £50 has rocketed up to £350 due to late fees.

The Food2U shop in Ilkeston owned by Mark Morgan-Gunn, with the van on the right which he'd parked when he received the ticket

The Food2U shop in Ilkeston owned by Mark Morgan-Gunn, with the van on the right which he'd parked when he received the ticket

Mark, 36, said: “It should just be overturned. It’s frustrating and the lack of common sense in the appeal process for this is absolutely absurd.

“I was heading to the Natwest branch in Bath Street so I parked the company van in the car park off Wilmot Street behind Wilko’s.

“It was around lunchtime and it parked the van up and got one of the parking pay and display tickets that lets you park for free for an hour.

“I put the ticket on the dashboard but as I closed the door, because of the really heavy storm weather we were having, it blew the ticket off the dashboard so it wasn’t visible any longer.

“I didn’t see this happen because I was rushing to get from my car to the branch because of the rain.”

Mark, who owns Food2U in Ilkeston, says he was only gone for around 20 minutes to complete his errand.

He said: “When I got back I saw a parking fine on my van. I was completely baffled because I always display a ticket so I said to the bloke who was still there issuing fines that he must have got it wrong.

“I opened my van door and the ticket was in the side of the door so I showed it to the officer and he said he agreed with me that I had shown a ticket and that he could support the appeal I made.”

Mark says he appealed multiple times to Erewash Borough Council to overturn the fine, showing them a display ticket in his possession that coincides with the time the penalty was issued.

He now has a bill of around £350 to pay because of the late fees he has incurred on a completely free parking display ticket.

But Scott Cartledge, Erewash Borough Council’s neighbourhood warden manager, said: “It is a requirement of the Traffic Regulation Order for all pay and display tickets to be displayed with the expiry time visible for inspection by a Civil Enforcement Officer.

“In this case, the pay and display ticket was not clearly displayed and was therefore a contravention.

“There has been various communication about this case and the process for the appeals fully explained.

“As the Penalty Charge Notice has remained unpaid, the matter has been passed to our Collection Agents to recover.”

Mark, of Sandiacre but previously of Ilkeston, said: “They also surely have CCTV in the car park that could prove it was me and that I did indeed collect a ticket from the machine.

“It’s the whole silliness of the affair that is most frustrating.

“Had it been a paid ticket or a double yellow line ticket, then granted, but a free one-hour ticket in a place Erewash Council want more users to build the community and visitors within the town?

“It truly is ridiculous.”

- This story first appeared on Derbyshire Live.