Pensioner's anger over parking fine
A DISABLED Rushcliffe man is in dispute with the city council over a £105 parking fine.
Peter Johns, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, challenged the original fine of £35 before going away on a two-month holiday.
The 73-year-old says he was assured it would take at least three months to process.
But when he returned home to East Leake, he found the appeal had already been rejected and, in a follow-up letter, the fine increased because it had not been paid.
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Mr John said if he had not been told it would take at least three months to process he would have just paid up.
He parked his car in Friar Lane on December 19, with his disabled badge in the windscreen. He returned after ten minutes to find a ticket.
"I'm a law-abiding citizen and I was shocked to see I had a fine. I honestly didn't realise I had done anything wrong but it turns out where I had parked was a no parking area," he said. "I approached a traffic warden who told me if I really wanted to I could contest the fine."
Mr Johns said he e-mailed the council to say he would like to appeal. He received a response on December 20 stating that it would take at least 12 weeks to respond.
The e-mail went on to say: "In some busy periods it may take longer to respond."
But when Mr Johns and his wife returned last week, they found they had a received the fine back in a letter dated January 31 – and it had since risen to £105.
He added: "It is like they have tricked me. I told them I was going away for two months and I had no access to e-mail or post. But they still sent out a fine that is nearly three times the original one. But what is more frustrating than the original fine is the fact that I was told a time frame that wasn't true."
A council spokesperson said: "We are grateful to Mr Johns for both conceding his parking was in error on this occasion, and for bringing to our attention that our wording might have caused a little confusion.
"We state a maximum time for processing in our letters and we have recently redeployed staff so that we can process them much more efficiently. The wording has recently changed to say that we now process appeals within 14 days which we hope offers a more efficient service."
Mr Johns has paid the £105 fine.
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