A FRUSTRATED driver has threatened to take legal action after unsuccessfully appealing against what he considers an unfair parking fine.
John Wallace was issued with a £70 fixed penalty notice after parking his Renault Megane on waste land in Garden Street, Darlington.
The Northern Echo reported on his anger at the ticket last week, when he said he had parked there for months without getting a ticket, before suddenly being hit with the unexpected fine.
The 64-year-old’s frustration was increased when his appeal against the ticket was refused, with parking enforcement officials saying his car was partially parked on an adopted public highway, which is covered by nearby double yellow lines.
He has dismissed as amateurish a diagram he has received from Darlington Borough Council, which shows the front end of his vehicle parked on the adopted highway and therefore liable to enforcement action.
Furthermore, he claims this contradicts what he has been told by traffic wardens, who told him the adopted highway runs flush with the front of a nearby building – leading him to believe he was parking legally by leaving his car behind that imaginary line.
Mr Wallace said: “These Mickey Mouse diagrams they have sent me, you would think someone’s four or five-year-old son or daughter had drawn them, not someone in a professional position.
“I was told that as long as I parked behind the line of the building, I would be fine – there is no consistency there whatsoever.”
Despite his initial appeal being turned down, Mr Wallace has no intention of paying up yet and said he will refer the matter to the independent traffic penalty tribunal if further appeals to the council are unsuccessful.
In a letter to Mr Wallace, a parking administration assistant said it had only recently been brought to the attention of traffic wardens that the area was an adopted highway, which is why he had been able to park there for so long for free.
A council spokeswoman said: “If a driver parks in an area where parking is not allowed, the vehicle risks getting a ticket from a passing warden."