I've been fined nearly £5,000 for dropping my autistic daughter off at school – but I'm refusing to pay

World News

A DAD has slammed a council as “disgusting” after he was hit with almost £5k worth of fines for stopping outside a school to drop his step-daughter off.

Nick Phipps, 40, had been dropping the nine-year-old off at Hylands Primary School, Havering, without any issues for months.

But he was shocked when he was contacted by a debt collection company demanding that he paid off his outstanding fines to Havering Borough Council.

Nick was horrified when he was told he had managed to rack up £4,800 worth of fines after an ANPR camera clocked him stopping outside of the primary school on Benjamin Close.

But the council claim that the signs are very clear at the entrance to the road, and that the 18 PCN's are valid.

However Nick says that he never recieved any of the parking notices, and is refusing to pay them until they are all sent to him.


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Nick told the Sun: “My girlfriend was pregnant with our child at the time, and so I offered to take her daughter to school and thought nothing of it.

“It was cold, I wasn’t working at the time and it made sense. Most of the area near the school is residential so I thought it would be okay.

"I didn’t see any signs about parking or dropping them off, and I never got any tickets so I assumed it was ok.

“At the time I never thought anything of it, until the debt collection agency contacted me about making repayments.

“I moved address in 2020, and I didn’t notify the DVLA about my change of address, which I accept I should have.

“But it was still a huge shock to be told I have all of these fines, especially when I thought I was doing something to help my family.”

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Nick contacted the council and two debt collection agencies to find out what the fines were for.

He claims there are not clear markings in the road to say that you can’t stop to drop your kids off during school hours.

He added: “There is no parking on site for parents to drop their kids off, I didn’t park in a residents bay because I know that isn’t allowed.

“But there was nothing in the road which says you can’t stop or pull over to drop the kids off at all.

“I thought I had only been given six or seven fines, and then an additional amount for not paying them immediately so I’m really being screwed.

"But now I find out its 18, which is a lot of money and a lot of fines to appeal but I will do it.

“I’ve never known anything like it, I think it’s disgusting. The council have said the signs are clear but I obviously didn’t see them or I wouldn't have continued to do it.

I didn’t see any signs about parking or dropping them off, and I never got any tickets so I assumed it was ok.

“There is nothing lawful about what they are doing, it's a complete cash cow and I don’t think you should get fined for taking your kids to school.

“I am appealing it all but it's a whole lot of stress, and then there is also a chance I have more fines in the post that I don’t know about yet.”

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “Mr Phipps has contravened the School Streets restriction at both Benjamin Close and Salisbury Road on 18 occasions, to date, since 26th April 2021. The most recent contravention occurred on 1st March 2022.

“All penalties relating to these contraventions have been served to the address at which the vehicle is registered with the DVLA.

“We have advised Mr Phipps that he needs to file a Statutory Declaration, per Penalty Charge, if he believes he hasn’t received them.”

“Havering’s School Street schemes offers a proactive solution for school communities to tackle air pollution, poor health and road danger.

"It encourages a healthier lifestyle for school families and a better environment for everyone by introducing a temporary restriction on vehicles during school drop-off and pick-up times.

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“Before introducing the scheme, we consulted with the school, school families and neighbours and there was wide support for it to be introduced.

"For the scheme to work, we need to keep as many unauthorised vehicles out of the school streets area and all entrances to School Streets zones are well signed.”

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