A man has told of his fury after being slapped with a parking fine – for what he says was a two-minute stop outside his own home.
Joseph Robinson, 54, of Bamford Walk, South Shields, found he had a penalty charge notice for £70 – which is reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days – on May 19.
His car was parked on the road in front of his drive for just two minutes, according to Mr Robinson, while he went back into the house to collect his mobile phone, which he had forgotten.
Parking on Bamford Walk is restricted to permit holders only, to discourage visitors to the nearby South Tyneside District Hospital from parking there.
Mr Robinson – a non-permit holder – parks on his driveway, but had driven out on to the street when he realised he had left his phone behind.
He said: “I was parked outside of my gate, and it only took me two minutes to go back into the house and come back with my phone.
I’ve never heard anything so pathetic in all my life. I’m fumingJoseph Robinson
“I wasn’t obstructing anyone from getting into their property.
“When I returned to my car, I found I had the parking ticket.
“I’ve never heard anything so pathetic in all my life. I’m fuming.
“It’s a joke – it’s not as if I was parking there deliberately.”
Mr Robinson says that one of his neighbours has received three such parking fines in the past, and has successfully appealed all of them.
However, his initial challenge to his own notice was thrown out by South Tyneside Council.
The letter read: “I have received your challenge for the penalty charge notice, and after careful consideration of the circumstances, have found no grounds for the cancellation of the penalty charge notice.”
Mr Robinson, who lives alone, added: “I’ve lived here for about 30 years, and I’ve never had any problems before.
“I didn’t bother buying a permit to park on the road, because I have a driveway and didn’t think I’d need one.
“It seems that I can’t even leave my car there for two minutes, though, without getting a parking ticket.
“I received a letter back saying my challenge to the fine had been rejected, and I have to pay the fine within 14 days to avoid the fine being doubled.
“I’m planning to appeal again, but I’ve been told that I can’t appeal for another two weeks, by which time the fine is likely to have doubled to £70.
A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “The discounted fee is offered if the fine is paid within 14 days of the notice being served.
“However, as Mr Robinson plans to appeal, the discount period will be placed on hold during the investigations so that if the decision is not in favour of waiving the penalty charge notice, the discounted penalty will still be accepted.”