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Joiner threatens legal action over parking ticket mix-up
A JOINER is threatening legal action after being left with a £50 fine following a mix-up over a parking ticket.
Andy Whiteside, from Richmond, went shopping in Darlington with his wife, Kirsty, in July, taking advantage of what they thought was Darlington Borough Council’s offer of £1 parking on Sundays in local authority car parks.
Having parked up in an on-street space in Grange Road, the couple spent an enjoyable day in the town, indulging in some retail therapy.
They returned to their car to find a traffic warden applying a parking ticket to their car Mr Whiteside, 47, who says he has been put off shopping in Darlington as a result of the incident, asked the parking attendant why the ticket was being issued.
He said: “We were told that it was £1 to park in Darlington council car parks on Sundays.
“So we paid our pound, went shopping and came back to a £50 fine.
“We explained to the traffic warden that we thought it was £1 to park and at first she said we did not have a ticket.
“When we showed her there was a ticket, she just said it was exempt.”
A council spokeswoman confirmed that on-street parking is not included in the offer.
She said: “There are short stay and long stay off street car parks surrounding the town centre, which cost £1 to park all day on a Sunday. On street parking is not included in this promotion.
Full car parking details are available on the Darlington Borough Council website; please visit darlington.gov.uk and search 'car park information'."
But Mr Whiteside feels he has been unfairly treated and argued that there is no signage saying that £1 parking does not apply on Grange Road.
He plans to speak to a solicitor in an effort to get the ticket overturned.
He said he had seen a promotional leaflet indicating that all council-controlled parking was £1 on Sundays and had every reason to believe that included on-street parking, which is operated by the local authority.
He added: “I paid the fine, because I could not find the information to support my argument.
“When I did find it, I called the council but they said I had admitted liability.
“The traffic warden basically said all council car parks except that one were included in the £1 offer – but the ticket from the machine had the council’s name on it and the traffic warden was working for the council.
“As a visitor to Darlington, I wasn’t to know that it was exempt, there was nothing in the signage to suggest that.
“Considering the amount of money that we spent in the shops that day, it would have been cheaper for us to have taken the train to York.
“I would definitely go to York in the future, or stay in Richmond.”
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