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Pensioner fined for walking a dog in the B&Q parking lot has overturned criminal charges

A retiree who was repeatedly fined for parking his car to walk his dog had waived his fines.

69-year-old Kevin Johnson was shocked to receive nine criminal complaints for parking in B & Q’s parking lot on Edge Lane while walking his dog in February and March this year.

He had paid hundreds of pounds in fines after being confused by the sign saying “NO OVERNIGHT PARKING”.

Mr Johnson took the wording of the sign so that he would not leave his car in the parking lot overnight and not use it for 10 minutes while walking his dog.

However, Smart Parking – the company that operates the parking lot – told ECHO that there were “clear warnings” that Mr Johnson had “ignored”.

After ECHO published the story in March, many people agreed that the parking lot signage was interpretive.

Wavertree MP Paula Barker also read the story and took his case with B&Q and the landowners Savills.

Thanks to the MP’s intervention, the potential £ 900 fines Mr Johnson received have now been lifted.

In a statement, the MP said: “I am very grateful to the B&Q and Savills team for their help in resolving the matter and canceling the tickets.

“I know this is a huge relief to Kevin and I’m glad my office was able to help.

“I asked Savills to check the signage on site to avoid future misunderstandings.”

Speaking to ECHO, Mr Johnson said he was relieved that he would no longer be asked to pay the fines.

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He said, “It is like a great deal of weight has been taken off my shoulders.

“I still want the wording changed so other people don’t fall into the same trap.

“People who learn to drive usually walk into empty parking lots and even driving instructors might get upset about it.

“To be honest, I saw a cop parked inside one night and I was walking the dog. I walked over to him when he was parked in front of one of the no overnight parking signs .

“I said, ‘can I choose your brain – how do you interpret the sign in front of you?’ And it said exactly what it says – “no overnight parking”.

“So I explained what happened and he said, ‘Do you have a laugh?’

“He said it was an absolute joke and if it’s private land then why don’t they put barriers or bollards.”

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Mr Johnson said when he started receiving criminal charges he became very concerned, which caused his blood pressure to “go through the roof”.

He added: “I would like to thank MP Paula Barker, her staff and the ECHO for telling the story, especially the MP who fought around the corner for me.

“I have to admit it was very worrying for me and I had a few sleepless nights.”

ECHO has asked both B&Q and the operators of the Smart Parking Ltd car park for their comments.

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