Angry pensioner stung by parking fine blasts councils

High Down Junior School, Portishead police educational parking patrol.

High Down Junior School, Portishead police educational parking patrol. - Credit: Archant

A retired Royal Marine has called for district and county bosses to review their parking policies after he was fined, despite having a three-day parking pass.

Pensioner James Landells, 67, from Berwick, trained at Lympstone CTC in 1966 and was visiting Exmouth for a 49th annual reunion with his former comrades.

A traffic warden advised that he buy a three-day parking ticket in the Imperial Road car park.

But when he parked on Queen’s Drive, and went for a short walk, he was shocked to find a fine slapped on top of his three-day ticket.

He said: “The traffic warden in the car park said it could be used ‘anywhere between Sidmouth and Exeter’.

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“But I discovered there are two councils; one in charge of road parking (the county council) and one for the car parks (the district council).

“How was I supposed to know that? Where I live, we have one single council doing everything. It is unreasonable to expect tourists to learn about the structure of local government in Exmouth before they visit.”

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He said that both authorities should make it clearer and put a sign on ticket machines clearly telling the public about the two different ticketing regimes and their responsibilities.

He added: “I appreciate this policy of not helping the public to be aware of this dual parking policy is a good way of generating income, but surely the policy of both councils should be for the benefit of the general public.

“The fine and the permit cost me £40 - it’s a big percentage of my weekly pension.”

He said: “Please look at this system to help avoid honest and hard-working people from falling into this trap.”

A county council spokesman said: “While we appreciate that some visitors to the area may not be aware of the two tiers of local authority in Devon, East Devon’s website and literature make it clear that its parking permits can only be used in its off-street car parks. Our advice to anyone receiving a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) who believes it was issued unfairly should appeal as per the notes on the reverse of the PCN.”

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