A MOTORIST has racked up an incredible 52 parking tickets in a year for parking in the same restricted spot.
The mystery driver has paid out nearly £1,300 in the past 12 months for continuing to park in the 30 minute only space close to shops and businesses in Handbridge.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has confirmed 52 separate parking fines have been left on the car at the parking bays between Greenway Street and The Grosvenor pub.
The fixed penalty for the offence is £50, reduced to £25 if paid within 14 days, with the owner of the vehicle making all payments, totalling £1,275, to CWaC within the fortnight.
The constant disregard has been criticised by some Handbridge residents and business owners, who claim parking is already heavily restricted, resulting in a negative effect on trade.
Kevin Brackenbury, owner of Edens of Handbridge greengrocers, said: “Parking in Handbridge is an ongoing problem and spaces are extremely limited as it is. The problem doesn’t get any easier when people continually ignore the restrictions in place.
“The parking limit of 30 minutes isn’t really enough at the best of times and those spaces out there are valuable. We have a lot of people coming from outside the city and want to park there so they can visit the shops and cafes in Handbridge.
“The restrictions are there for a reason, so people can park up and come and visit the shops. When those spaces are taken up it has an impact on the rest of us.
“Residents pay their parking permits for a reason and for people who continue to flout the rules and park wherever and whenever they want will be punished for it. To pay that amount of money in parking fines is crazy.”
A concerned resident who does not wish to be named said: “The situation is ridiculous and something needs to be done about it to sort it out permanently.
“Parking in Handbridge is bad already. The restrictions are in place for a reason and you can’t just have people breaking the law when they feel like.
“I spoke to one of the traffic wardens when he was issuing a ticket and he just laughed and said that they must be paying the fines. That isn’t the point though. It doesn’t matter how many tickets and whether they are paying the fines, it is the principle of the matter and they are breaking the law.”
CWaC stated that, while the tickets were being paid, there were no other measures that could be taken to ensure the situation did not continue.
Handbridge Park councillor Neil Sullivan said: “I understand the concerns of residents and I have been made fully aware of the situation.
“I am trying to ascertain whether there is any scope for further action to remedy the situation but, for the time being, their is little more that the parking enforcement officers can do.
“Thanks to the increase in patrols of officers, the parking situation has improved considerably over recent years and the patrols will be continuing to monitor the vehicle in question and the owner will continue to be fined for as long as the rules are flouted.”
Are you the mystery motorist. Tell us story by contacting the Leader on 01244 304541.