Driving lesson car gets Tower Hamlets penalty notice—for parking

A driving instructor who was issued a penalty notice while teaching a learner how to park a car in a quiet side street won’t have to pay the fine after all.

The fine has been waived by Tower Hamlets council after an approach by the Advertiser following Adam Attibbi’s ‘stand off’ with a parking warden.

Adam had been instructing a learner how to reverse into a parking space in Saunders Ness Road on the Isle of Dogs when the council’s mobile CCTV parking vehicle pulled up behind in the spot he was trying to manoeuvre into.

“The CCTV driver wouldn’t move back,” he said. “I got out and asked her to drive around us so my learner could reverse into the space—but she refused and told me to move on.”

The stand-off ended up with Adam and the learner driving off. Then he received the penalty notice in the post at his Simply Driving school in Bethnal Green for “parking more than 50cm from the kerb.”

But the council later agreed the mobile CCTV footage showed Adam’s driving school vehicle was being used to instruct a learner how to reverse park and that “more time should have been given to allow practice of the manoeuvre.”

The parking space became blocked by the council’s own car to allow other vehicles to pass, said a council statement. The instructor’s vehicle was double parked more than five minutes—so he got a ticket for obstruction.

Most Read

The council has now had second thoughts, however. The statement added: “Given the circumstances, the penalty charge has been cancelled.”

Adam, 27, was over the moon—but disappointed the traffic warden gave out a ticket in first place.

Now Tower Hamlets Tory Opposition leader Peter Golds, whose Isle of Dogs constituency includes Saunders Ness Road, is demanding to know why the CCTV observer vehicle was in the quiet neighbourhood “when it should be sorting urgent problems in congested places like Whitechapel.”

He added: “L-plate drivers have to learn reverse parking somewhere.”