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Bus lane offence: £30 fine

PUBLISHED: 16:54 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 July 2010

A RETAINED firefighter, who hires out an old fire engine for celebrations, appeared before magistrates this week charged with parking in a bus-only bay.

A RETAINED firefighter, who hires out an old fire engine for celebrations, appeared before magistrates this week charged with parking in a bus-only bay.

Dave Cook, 27, had parked his 15 year old fire engine outside the Great Yarmouth seafront Long Bar to put up posters promoting his Big Red Hire Engine company, which gives wedding parties and hen night revellers a lift with a difference to their celebrations.

On Tuesday, Cook was found guilty of parking in a bus-only bay on June 13 last year.

Cook told Yarmouth magistrates he had parked the fire engine in the bay outside the Long Bar because it was impossible for him to fit it into normal parking spaces.

As he went into the bar, traffic warden Julius Mercado approached and started to examine the vehicle.

Giving evidence, Mr Mercado said: “People were stopping and asking me where the fire was.”

Cook left the bar and asked the warden if he should move his fire engine and, if not, whether he could have another few minutes to finish putting up his posters. Mr Mercado agreed to give him five minutes' grace.

Magistrates were told that Mr Mercado issued a ticket 13 minutes later after Cook had not moved the engine.

Cook had contested the parking charge on the grounds that the warden had not asked him to move the vehicle and had not given him a fixed timescale to finish putting his posters up.

He said: “I do not dispute the fact I was parked illegally, but quite obviously it is a fire engine and does not fit into car park spaces.”

The bench, finding him guilty, said they believed Mr Mercado's account but had some sympathy towards Cook's predicament.

Cook was fined £30 and was told to pay £150 costs as well as a £15 surcharge.

After the case, Cook said he would appeal against the parking conviction.

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