A Burton pensioner has won a battle to overturn a parking fine - thanks to the Burton Mail. John Lamb, of Mead Walk, Stapenhill, received a £50 ticket following his monthly trip to the barbers after parking his Toyota Land Cruiser in Manor Croft car park, in Burton.
Mr Lamb mistakenly visited the nearby Market Place ticket machine to pay for parking – and found a notice affixed to the machine stating it was free. He then did not pay for parking, only to find a ticket on his vehicle when he returned to the car.
While Manor Croft, run by Staffordshire County Council, still charges 80p for parking up to an hour in any of its 14 on-street parking bays, the Market Place car park, run by East Staffordshire Borough Council, was free on the day of Mr Lamb's visit.
He appealed to Staffordshire County Council which had issued him with the fine, and also contacted the Burton Mail
He said: "I went to Burton in my car and parked in Manor Croft car park. I found a spot and set off towards the meter jingling my 80p in order to purchase a pay and display ticket which I would then have placed prominently on the dashboard of my Land Cruiser.
"When I got close to the ticket machine I saw that it had been covered with a purpose-made stout plastic cover and affixed to the cover was a clear sign which informed me that no tickets were required and it was free parking.
"So I went off to the local barbers. Shortly after, I returned to the vehicle well within any hour's period and, to my shock, found a fixed penalty notice advising me that as I had no paid ticket visible £50 was due within 28 days, discounted to £25 if paid by October 16. I still have my 80p, but feel that I should not have been levied any penalty whatsoever.
After the county council was contacted by the Burton Mail, the authority agreed to cancel the fine.
The council's cabinet support member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said: "The county council on-street parking bays, which are charged for, are close to an area of free parking owned by the borough council. We would urge people to make sure they are on the free parking area before leaving without a ticket. On this occasion we will cancel the penalty notice."