Bought tickets but got fined!

PUBLISHED: 10:51 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 11:11 10 June 2010

PAYING for tickets on the wrong side of the road ended in a parking fine fiasco for a group of holidaymakers visiting Exmouth.

PAYING for tickets on the 'wrong' side of the road ended in a parking fine fiasco for a group of holidaymakers visiting Exmouth.

Janet Brooks, 55, from Bolton, and her brother Alan Johnson, from Derbyshire, were each slapped with £25 parking fines by a district council parking enforcement officer - despite their vehicles displaying fully-paid tickets.

The pair had parked their cars on Queen's Drive, on the seafront side, but because they had bought their tickets from the machine on the opposite side of the road by the beach huts - just yards away from where they had parked - they both received hefty fines.

The pair was not aware the district council owns the beach side of the road, while the county council owns the opposite side.

As Mrs Brooks and her brother had parked on the district council-owned side, but had put their money into a county council machine, they were both fined for failing to buy valid tickets.

Mrs Brooks, who spent the week with a party of 14 in a rented farmhouse in Honiton, said the group had spent the day on Exmouth beach and had returned to their cars ahead of the ticket expiry time - only to find both vehicles displaying fines.

She said the fines had been issued shortly after the family had bought their tickets.

When she challenged the parking enforcement officer responsible, she was told the rules regarding ownership of the road.

Mrs Brooks said the council worker had claimed payment information was clearly displayed on the pay-and-display machines.

But when she checked herself, she found none - and says she was told by two other parking officers the rules had not been displayed since the installation of new machines.

Mrs Brooks said: "We had a valid ticket on the dashboard and I asked him to explain to why we had been fined. He said the tickets were bought from the wrong side of the road.

"We couldn't believe it. We were all very angry. It's just a nonsense.

"When they changed the machines, they took the signs down. There's no way the public could know who owns what."

A district council spokeswoman confirmed some ticket machines were without adequate signs.

She said Mr Johnson had contacted the council and had been refunded. Mrs Brooks' fine would also be lifted once she appealed.

The council spokeswoman said: "It is incumbent on the council to prove that a contravention of parking regulations has occurred. If it cannot do this, then the penalty notice will be withdrawn."

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