Parking fine issued to Letchworth man minutes after receiving help paying from officer

Steve and his daughter had a lovely day with at the Letchworth Food & Drink Festival until he found

Steve and his daughter had a lovely day with at the Letchworth Food & Drink Festival until he found the traffic officer who helped him pay for parking had issued him with a pentalty charge. Picture: Steve Paffett - Credit: Archant

A Letchworth dad has been left angry having received a parking fine minutes after receiving help with paying from an enforcement officer.

Steve Paffett decided to park in the town hall car park on Saturday before heading over to the Letchworth Food & Drink Festival for a fun day out with his daughter Sophia.

He told the Comet: “It seemed like a good idea to join the hundreds of people attending the festival. The weather was beautiful, and my seven-year-old was looking forward to going on some of the fair rides.

“I parked in the car park in Broadway and, due to having a lack of change, I thought I would buy a ticket using my mobile. At 3.52pm I asked the parking officer how to do this, and she very kindly told me how. “At 3.55pm, I paid for my parking and had a text to confirm this, so off we went.

“It was a lovely time until we returned to the car to find that the parking officer had put a ticket on the windscreen and the ticket was issued at 3.59pm. “The ticket states that she ‘observed the car’ from 3.53pm to 3.59pm. She also observed me and even helped me pay for the parking.

“Why when someone puts on a uniform do they get so keen to over exercise their responsibilities? I have to say I’m just so astonished by the sheer enthusiasm exercised by this parking officer.

“A really pleasant couple of hours marred by someone’s untethered actions. It seems staggering to me that you are not given longer than six minutes to arrange payment of your parking, although Ringo acknowledged receipt of my payment four minutes before the officer wrote the ticket.

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“I’m sure most people understand how I feel, it seems to always be those that commit no offence that get the aggravation while blatant parking breaches go on throughout the town, seemingly ignored.

“How does one park in Letchworth and feel even when you have paid, that some inconsiderate and overzealous parking officer won’t use you to jack up their turnover. I am furious. Not a perfect end to a perfect day.”

In response, Councillor David Levett, NHDC’s executive member for transport, said: “We would like to apologise to Mr Paffett, as on this occasion the penalty charge notice was issued incorrectly.

“Unfortunately the civil enforcement officer on duty was dealing with a number of parking queries and failed to spot Mr Paffett’s car registration number in the list of paid parked vehicles on their pay by phone device.

“We apologise to Mr Paffett for any inconvenience and will investigate withdrawal of the penalty charge notice upon receipt of his challenge.”

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