Council branded 'bandits' after broken parking machine lands elderly man with fine
The man unsuccessfully appealed against the fine after he was unable to pay online, using an app or over the phone despite having the money, East Riding councillors heard.
Liberal Democrat Coun David Nolan said the council should stop acting like bandits and waive parking fines if machines are broken and someone cannot pay any other way.
Conservative Coun Richard Meredith said the case highlighted a possible loophole in parking policy and pledged to look into it in an upcoming review of system.
A vote to refer the matter to the Car Parking Review Panel came during the council’s full meeting on Thursday (Oct 5).
Coun Nolan said the Hessle man came back to his car to find he had been fined despite putting a note on his windshield saying the ticket machine was out of order.
The Hessle councillor added the man saw the situation had left other elderly people at Hornsea’s Eastgate Car Park, in Marine Drive, struggling over what to do.
The Liberal Democrat said: “The man told me he did not have his spectacles so he could not see the the information about the app and he tried ringing the council’s main switchboard number but found it too confusing. I tried that number the other day too and I had to go through about four levels of options before I got to parking, then even if people get there they’re left on hold.
“The man said even if he could have seen the information about the app he wouldn’t have been able to manage because he struggles with modern technology and he knows many of his friends would have found it difficult too. He informally appealed to the council which accepted that the machine was broken but they refused to waive the penalty.
“The council’s argument seems to be that if you can’t pay for a ticket then you can’t park in a council car park, but the man had the cash to pay. This penalises elderly residents, the council needs to stop acting like bandits, they need to show some respect to people who are unable to access apps.”
Coun Meredith said the issue should be looked into by the review panel which is set to launch in the coming days.
The review panel will look at the council’s parking policies before making recommendations on any changes it feels should be made to policies.
The Conservative said: “This motion has highlighted a possible loop hole. I would like to make assurances that this will be discussed and we will endeavour to see it included in the recommendations.”