Garage owner hit with on-the-spot fine defends actions

A garage owner in Boxford says he has been forced to park his Land Rover outside his premises on a road to keep his staff safe from a traffic accident.

The move has resulted in Howard Watts, who runs Riddelsdell Bros garage, getting a £30 on-the-spot fine for parking within 10 metres of a junction.

Mr Watts, who has run the garage in Ellis Street for 12 years, said he believes some villagers have a problem with him parking the classic cars he sells on a green opposite his garage, and have reported him to the police.

“There are no yellow lines on the road outside my garage but the police have been down and I got a ticket for contravening a regulation for parking 10 metres from a junction,” he said. “This has been going on elsewhere in the village, too.

“But there is a good reason why I park my Land Rover there, because it is to protect me and my staff when we serve petrol.

“My garage forecourt runs right into the road and sometimes it means having to go into the road to fill up. I thought that by parking there it would slow traffic down and protect us.”

Mr Watts said he does not plan to contest the fine. He also said the police had also been called out to his garage again after a complaint about him parking his cars on public land.

“This green has now been planted up with flowers and I think it’s to stop me parking my cars there, even though I am public-minded and pay for the petrol for the lawnmower to cut the grass,” he said.

“I had to park my cars there that morning because we were having some contractors in fitting new lights in the showroom and all the cars had to be removed.

“But I say live and let live – I paid the fine. The policeman listened to what I had to say about why I parked there but I still say it’s a dangerous road and there’s speeding.”

Meanwhile, attempts to get a Speedwatch group in the village have failed due to a lack of volunteers.