‘Here’s my parking fine – in 1p pieces’
A DRIVER was so brassed off at getting a £25 parking ticket – despite having paid and displayed – that he got 2,500 pennies and dumped them on the council office counter.
Pensioner Kenneth Lambourne parked at Borough Parade car park on a blustery day on Saturday, February 1, and paid £1.50 for two hours. But he failed to notice that on closing his car door, the wind had taken his ticket off the dashboard.
When he returned less than two hours later, the only ticket he found was on his windscreen.
After retrieving his paid-for ticket from the floor of his car, he said he took it into the Wiltshire Council offices, where it was photocopied, but he was told he would still have to pay the £25 fine.
“Basically it’s cost me £26.50 to park in Chippenham for two hours,” said Mr Lambourne, 64, who lives in The Oaks.
So he went to his High Street bank and withdrew 2,500 pennies, weighing more than 6kg, and lugged them to the Monkton Park offices in a plastic bag.
“It was quite heavy,” he said. “They were a bit taken aback. They asked if I wanted a receipt, did I want to wait while they counted them out, and I said ‘no, thank you’ and walked out.
“I did it to make a point. I don’t like being made an idiot of. I told them at the bank what it was for and they laughed and said, let us know how you get on.”
Mr Lambourne, who used to drive taxis in Chippenham for 20 years, said he has been driving for 47 years and had never had a parking ticket before.
He said: “I contested but it was refused. I found it a bit unfair because I had a valid ticket.
“We used to have stick-on tickets with the peel-off back but people complained they made a mess of their windscreen, so they did away with them. Well I think it’s a lame excuse.
“Why should I be penalised just because it’s made someone’s window dirty?”
Communities secretary Eric Pickles came to Chippenham in January to help Michelle Donelan, Chippenham’s Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate, launch a campaign to get free parking for the town centre. An hour’s free parking was removed from county car parks three years ago by Conservative-led Wiltshire Council.
Mr Lambourne said: “It’s a rip-off parking in Chippenham. If you go to Corsham it’s only 30p an hour.
“I just go into town to pass time, to have a cup of tea. The stuff I want I can’t find there, I have to go to Swindon and Bath. Clothes for men of my sort of age are pretty non-existent in Chippenham.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire Council said: “It is the responsibility of drivers to ensure a pay and display ticket is clearly displayed when required.
“Our officers take reasonable steps to look for a valid ticket, however on this occasion there was no evidence of one on the car dashboard, on the floor or seats and the appeal was rejected.”
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