Campervan driver claims parking fine is ‘unlawful discrimination’

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A campervan driver claims a parking fine is “unlawful” and he was “singled out”.

Steve Foakes got the ticket while visiting family on Tuesday when he parked the Citroen campervan partially blocking a dropped kerb. However, he stressed he left space behind the car in front to avoid blocking them in on the residential road in Bournemouth, Dorset.

Consequently, Mr Foakes believes the £70 fine is “blatant unlawful discrimination”.

The driver, from Yorkshire, took photos of “at least” seven other cars on the street which had also blocked dropped kerbs but had not been fined. 

But Mr Foakes was later told by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council – which enforced the fine – that he was fined because of a complaint by a resident.

Speaking to Dorset Live, he said: “It’s not the fine that bothers me It’s the principle. My vehicle is parked partially blocking the dropped kerb, but at least seven others are completely blocking it.

“One car behind my van there’s a space, then another dropped kerb, and a car is completely blocking that one but was ignored. It’s blatant unlawful discrimination against me and my vehicle.

“I left my vehicle slightly back to be courteous, but now I cleared the kerb I’m tight up to them. It seems so petty. Again, it’s not about the money for me, it’s the discrimination, against myself and the vehicle.

“Fair enough I’ve parked at a drop kerb, but so have at least seven or eight other vehicles. I’ve just been singled out, maybe because it’s a campervan.”

I’ve just been singled out, maybe because it’s a campervan

Steve Foakes, campervan driver

An email to Mr Foakes, regarding the offence from this week, read: “Thank you for your email, in order for a Penalty Charge Notice to be issued for this type of contravention we must receive a report directly from the resident affected, once we have the report a Civil Enforcement Officer will be tasked to attend to review and issue a Penalty Charge Notice to the vehicle that we have received the report on, there is no discrimination based on the type of vehicle you are using.

“If we had received a report from the resident of the vehicle parked in front of you then a Penalty Charge Notice may have been issued to that vehicle too. Your vehicle was issued because we received a direct report from the resident that was affected.”

The fine will be reduced to £35 should Mr Foakes pay it promptly.

BCP Council says parking in front of dropped kerbs can cause safety issues.

A spokesman for the authority said: “Parking in front of dropped kerbs can have an impact on the safety of people including those with lower levels of mobility such as wheelchair users and those with pushchairs. It can prevent members of the public from gaining access to the road or carriageway or from getting their vehicles in and out of their driveways.

“Members of the public are able to report blocked access by contacting our parking team via the BCP Council website where enforcement action may be taken.

“For further details about the dropped kerb policy see here: https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/Roads-and-transport/Dropped-kerbs/Report-a-vehicle-parked-in-front-of-your-dropped-kerb.aspx.”

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