Restaurant owner defies parking inspector’s demand amid coronavirus lockdown
PUBLISHED: 15:38 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:24 01 April 2020
A north Norfolk restaurant owner insists he will keep using a vacant bus lay-by to load up deliveries for people self-isolating amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Tim Roberts, who runs Number 29 Bar and Restaurant in Burnham Market, said he had a confrontation with a ticket inspector on Friday, two days after the same inspector gave him a £70 parking ticket for parking there.
Mr Roberts said: “He came out and said: ‘I’ll give you another ticket’. What the [King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough] council is doing, I don’t know.
“We will continue to park outside and load our vehicle with groceries to those self-isolating and to people taking the advice to stay in.”
Mr Roberts previously said he had would rather go to jail than pay the charge.
Mr Roberts said he had seen an outpouring of support from the local community and on social media.
He said: “I’ve had so many offers from people saying they would pay my legal fees or my ticket, but it’s not that we can’t pay, it’s that we won’t pay. It’s the principle.”
Mr Roberts said it was not illegal anyway to park on a single yellow line while loading a vehicle, which is what he uses the space in front of his restaurant for. Although the restaurant is closed he continues to make food deliveries to people around the Burnhams.
Mr Roberts said he had received a lot of support for his cause from the local community, including scores of messages over social media.
One supporter said: “We are living in very difficult extreme times and Mr Roberts is doing an amazing thing trying to get food out to those who are vulnerable.
“There were only about four or five cars parked in Burnham Market. Why on earth do we need a traffic warden?”
But another resident saw a different side to the argument, saying: “How can the ticket inspector be wrong for issuing a ticket when you’re parked in a bus stop that NHS and disabled users need?”
But the council stood by the ticket, with a spokesman saying: “The government guidance is that local councils will continue to carry out crucial parking enforcement locally to ensure the public are kept safe and that the roads remain clear for emergency and essential services.”
The council has been contacted for further comment.
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