A MOTORIST is demanding thousands of pounds from Bury Council for “stress and suffering” — when he was given a ticket after parking for 14 minutes in a 15-minute free zone.
Jonathan Dickson, who lives in Earby, Lancashire, parked in Silver Street on July 4 last year, in an area which was described as having 15 minutes of free parking.
However, Mr Dickson was unaware that to be eligible for the free parking, motorists must print out a ticket, and he was handed a £75 fine.
Mr Dickson, who was visiting Bury for a potential job opportunity, was so incensed after being handed the ticket that he appealed to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
Adjudicators upheld Mr Dickson’s complaint, saying the council had no grounds to pursue Mr Dickson for payment.
The tribunal’s judgement stated: “If a motorist wishes to benefit from the 15 minutes free parking permitted by the council, he or she cannot (or should not be required to) obtain a ‘Pay and Display Ticket’ because that requires payment.”
The council then cancelled the ticket.
However, Mr Dickson is demanding £2,582.13 from the council for the time and money he spent on sending representations to Bury Council, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, as well as the “grief, distress, stress and suffering caused by Bury Council”.
The system is no longer in operation, but Mr Dickson says he hopes his story will encourage people who may have encountered similar circumstances, to fight their case.
Mr Dickson, who is a pensioner, said: “I have yet to find someone who understands how you could get a ticket for not displaying a parking ticket, to get 15 minutes free parking.
“Their action has cost me quite a lot of expense in terms of time and money, and they haven’t even bothered to apologise.
“It has caused me months of sleepless nights. They have not even considered apologising, and that really hurts.”
A council spokesman said: “Mr Dickson was issued with a penalty charge notice because he had not obtained a ticket when he parked his car in Silver Street.
“Even though, at the time, we allowed drivers to park for 15 minutes without charge, we still required them to obtain and display a ticket so that our enforcement officers would know how long a driver had been parked for.
“Mr Dickson lodged an appeal with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The tribunal found in his favour, and therefore we cancelled the penalty charge notice and considered the matter closed.
“The tribunal did not award Mr Dickson any costs, and he has submitted no evidence to the council to support his compensation claim for stress or distress.”