I was slapped with a £50 parking fine as the bay wasn't big enough for my motorhome – it's discrimination | The Sun

A PENSIONER was issued a £50 ticket for parking his motorhome over the lines.

Les Frances, 75, from Paignton in Devon, has hit out at Torbay Council after a penalty notice was stuck to his motorhome while he was helping his disabled wife get ready for a walk.

When he'd first got to the area to visit his great-grandchildren, Les parked in a bay and claims he asked a passing parking warden if he was alright to be there.

He says he was advised the motorhome was fine and he wouldn't be issued a ticket.

On August 28, he parked in the same area, lowered the accessibility step so his wife could hop out of the motor home and pottered around for 15 minutes.

By the time he got back out to the front, Les says a ticket was waiting for him on the window.


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Les told The Sun Online: "I'm always very wary of the parking fines and that, and we've never had one in my 75 years. 

"I had looked along the road where we parked, and there were about six motorhomes, about 100 cars, every motor home had got a ticket.

“I took photos of the cars, and the cars are clearly parked way out of the bays, over lines and everything, and not one of them was ticketed.

“So I’m saying that it’s victimisation of motor homes, Torbay don’t want motorhomes.

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"You look at the cars, all clearly out of the bays, not one of them was prosecuted.”

A picture taken of his parking shows the vehicle within the two lines either side but appears as though it could be hanging out over the front or the back.

He said: "The only thing we're back with now is the memory of this fine. It's not that we can't afford it, it's the principle that we're battling against."

There were about six other motorhomes that were fined, he claims, but no cars, so he thinks it's discrimination against motorhomes. 

How to appeal a private parking ticket

You need to go to the company issuing the notice in the first place – this should be on the notice or ticket you get.

This could be from a private car parking firm, supermarket or other firm, but not the council or police (we've got more on how to appeal those below).

You'll need to tell them you're challenging the fine and why, showing any evidence if you have it. According to Popla this could be:

  • A crime reference number if the vehicle was stolen
  • Photographs, for instance if you think that the signage was inadequate
  • Pay and display voucher, for example, if you say it was displayed and had not expired
  • A witness statement

Your evidence can be images, videos or scanned documents but make sure they are copies as originals can't be returned.

You can use a template from Citizen's Advice to write to them.

You can take the claim to Popla if the company is part of a trade body called the British Parking Association (BPA).

If the company is part of the International Parking Community (IPC) you can appeal to the Independent Appeals Service.

While you appeal, the parking operator may add additional fees for later payment as the notice is not suspended during this time.

He appealed the PCN, issued on August 28, but it was rejected. 

A Torbay Council spokesperson told The Sun the notice was fined due to the motorhome's positioning within the car park – not due to the step being on the line. 

They said: “The penalty charge notice was issued because the motorhome was not parked wholly within the bay – its rear was clearly out of the bay’s markings.

"The appeals decision was followed in line with our appeals policy. 

"As part of the appeals process, the driver can go to an independent adjudicator if they disagree with the decision.

“All drivers who park on the highway must follow on-street parking restrictions and ensure they park their vehicle in a bay suitable for its size, whether their vehicle is a car or a motorhome.”

But Les says the council has changed their tune about what part of the motorhome is out of the boundary.

He said: "I think they changed their mind on me, when we first looked at the photographs there was nothing at the back.

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"The big thing is the victimisation, in the photos you can see the cars are parked way out in the bay, but they didn't get a ticket. It's just people with motor homes." 

"It feels as though motor homes aren't welcome in Torbay."

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