AN ASHBOURNE resident has branded the town’s parking enforcement as ‘ridiculous’ after watching a postman receive a fine while delivering mail to a doctor’s surgery.
The News Telegraph reader, who does not want to be named, said a parking enforcer working on behalf of the district council ticketed the Royal Mail van while it was parked in a public car park to deliver post to the surgery, off Clifton Road.
It is claimed, but has not been confirmed, that the postman was parked for around two minutes before the penalty notice was issued.
She said: “They were parked in a little car park on Clifton Road as the road was very busy, it was wet and there were a lot of elderly people around.
“There were also contractors working across the road, which made it even more congested.
“I think giving the man a ticket was absolutely ridiculous when he was more than justified in being there just doing his job.
“The bloke was two minutes in there. I don’t know what he was delivering, but I’m guessing it must’ve been something important, like medication or documents.
“Parking in Ashbourne has become ridiculous. There’s no give and take and, for the sake of two minutes, the guy’s got a fine.
“I think the fines are just a cash cow and aren’t really about safety or fairness.
“At the end of the day, if it was the warden having his medical deliveries made, I’m pretty certain he’d see it differently.
“I want to see a more common sense approach. There’s no need to apply the letter of the law all the time.
“Anyone with any sense would’ve held on a couple of minutes to see what was going on.”
A spokesman for Derbyshire Dales District Council, which recruits independent firm APCOA to oversee its civil parking enforcement on all its off-street car parks, said the Royal Mail could choose to appeal the fine.
“Parking enforcement officers do an unpopular job and it’s impossible for us to properly comment on a letter that makes so many assumptions about why the post van was parked where it was.
“Our parking enforcement policy includes a right of appeal and, in this case, if the Royal Mail feel they can put forward a sound reason for parking in a permit-only car park, we will expect to hear from them.”
According to the district council’s parking enforcement policy, anyone parking in an off-street car park and not displaying a ticket is given a five minute ‘observation time’ one the warden has noticed the contravention.
This, the policy states, is to satisfy the civil enforcement officer that loading or unloading is not taking place.