July 29 2014 Latest news:
by Rory Brigstock-Barron
Thursday, April 17, 2014
A florist has hit out after receiving a parking ticket while loading his van for a funeral.
Tryphon Georgiou, 74, has owned Elli’s Florists in Holloway Road for 34 years and was forced to park in neighbouring Fortnam Road to load his van on March 18, as there were no other spaces.
Mr Georgiou says he pulled up at around 8.20am, 10 minutes before restrictions on the suspended bay came into place, and was making trips to and from the van until just before 8.35am, when he returned to find a traffic warden giving him a ticket.
He appealed but was told in a response from the town hall that an “exemption does not apply for loading in a suspended bay”, despite being told by the traffic officer that he should be able to mount a successful appeal against the £130 fine.
“I got back to the van, ready to leave and explained and he said ‘sorry, I didn’t realise you were loading for a funeral’, said Mr Georgiou.
“He took a picture of me loading the van and said that If I appealed it would be OK.
“But when I appealed they said ‘you could wait to find a place to park’ but how can I wait when I have to get the flowers to a funeral director at 9am?
“I couldn’t phone the undertakers and say: ‘sorry, I couldn’t find a parking space’.
“I usually load the van at 6am but that day I had too many flowers so I had to make two trips.”
Mr Georgiou’s fine comes just two weeks after Islington Council rejected a coalition government proposal for a five-minute grace period before tickets are issued.
Lib Dem Cllr Tracy Ishmail, one of those in favour of the grace period, said: “I just think it’s poor when the council makes so much money from parking, not to give someone a chance.
“You’re loading up for a funeral and you don’t even get a chance to move on.
“I know times are hard but parking isn’t supposed to be a money spinner.”
Cllr Andy Hull, executive member for transport, said: “In this case, the gentleman was still there at 8.35am and a five-minute grace period wouldn’t have helped him anyway.
“My worry is that a five-minute grace period would just mean that people would break the same rules and stay five minutes later.”