Driver wins seven-month battle over parking ticket

August 06 2013
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A Bishopston resident has won a seven-month battle with the city council after receiving a parking ticket, and now wants to see the road sign removed.

A Bishopston resident has won a seven-month battle with the city council after receiving a parking ticket, and now wants to see the road sign removed.

Eamonn Connaughton received the parking ticket on November 23 after he parked his silver Audi outside the Sainsbury’s Local on Gloucester Road, near the Elton Road junction.

Mr Connaughton said he parked in the space “in good faith”, believing it to be “legitimate”. He added he was “very surprised” to have received the fine, and was not aware that the bay was a restricted area.

A small signpost is displayed on the pavement indicating there is no parking between 7am and 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday.

"It's so ambiguous, people think it’s OK to park here because of the road markings,” explains Mr Connaughton from Seymour Road. “I wonder how many others haven’t noticed the sign and have just paid the fine.”

Mr Connaughton contested his fine three times between November and June to which Bristol City Council responded that there was “no justification” to withdraw the penalty charge notice.

The council presented Mr Connaughton with a Notice of Rejection to which he appealed.

The council believed the ticket was issued correctly, as Mr Connaughton’s vehicle was observed parking on a single yellow line during its hours of operation.

On June 25, Mr Connaughton received notification from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal stating that the council allowed the appeal without consideration of any evidence. He was therefore not liable to pay the penalty charge.

The markings outside Sainsbury’s Local mirror the opposite side of the road where cars are permitted to park during the day, claims Mr Connaughton. There is a single yellow line against the pavement and a dotted white line highlighting the bay’s boundary.

He received a £70 penalty charge for parking in the space – if paid within 14 days the fine would be reduced by 50 per cent.

“A lot of people have questioned why contest a £35 parking ticket,” says Mr Connaughton. “I believe it’s not the money, it’s the principle of it.”

A £30,000 scheme has been put forward by Bristol City Council to redevelop the Promenade, which contains the parking bay. The proposal is to develop the spot into a 30-metre one-hour limited waiting parking bay (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm, and Saturday, 8am to 6pm).

Bristol City Council spokesperson Tim Borrett said: “The change is because we have funding for a general overhaul of the Promenade rather than specifically due to parking tickets or appeals, but we do hope it will make the area more accessible and pleasant for all. There is no word yet on when it will be done – we’ve just finished consultation and are looking at the designs in light of the results.”