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So who has really crossed the line? Sloppily -parke d warden hands out a ticket.

Byline: Tony Henderson

TAXI driver George Brodie has drawn battle lines with his local council after a row over a parking bay drove him to distraction.

Mr Brodie and his wife Dawn had parked on a ramp opposite the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth, which leads to the Longsands. The ramp is marked with parking bays and the couple set off to walk their dogs on a Monday morning.

As they returned they saw a North Tyneside Council parking enforcement officer arrive, who told Mr Brodie that he was being served with a pounds 25 ticket.

Mr Brodie pays pounds 30 a year for a council permit which allows parking on coastal sites.

Mr Brodie, who lives in Park Crescent in North Shields, said: "I told him I had a permit but he said I was getting a ticket for not parking straight and being a couple of inches over the bay line. "I have a long car - a Mercedes estate - and I was parked right up to the ramp wall. I couldn't believe what was happening for the sake of a couple of inches."

Then Mrs Brodie noticed that the enforcement van had been parked with its front end well over its bay markings, and began taking pictures.

"He jumped into the van and reversed it into the bay," said Mr Brodie. With the fine rising to pounds 50 if not paid within two weeks Mr Brodie sent a letter of appeal. But when he did not receive a reply and with the deadline looming he resorted to email, and was told the fine would be frozen while the matter was looked into.

Mr Brodie said: "There were only a few other cars parked on the ramp and it is not as if it was a busy weekend. I had paid pounds 30 for a permit and I was so annoyed, especially as the parking enforcement officer's parking was worse.

"If I am fined then I want proof that the officer has also been fined. It should not have come to this The whole thing has been so stupid."

Two weeks ago North Tyneside resident Robert Rainey challenged an enforcement officer whose van was parked partially on double yellow lines in Forest Hall, and in an area where a parking permit was required.

Mr Rainey claimed that when he made his challenge he was simply told to "grow up."

A council spokesman said: "An important aspect of the decriminalisation of parking contraventions is the ability of motorists to have their objections heard and considered fully and impartially.

If Mr Brodie has submitted an appeal then we will examine his case.

"While our parking control vehicles are exempt from normal waiting restrictions when being used in the service of the council, officers are always encouraged to use a designated parking facility whenever one is available.

"Following the case in Forest Hall we notified our enforcement officers that parking of this nature was unacceptable.

"After receiving the photograph of this vehicle partially beyond a parking bay in Tynemouth, we will be interviewing the officer concerned to establish if there was a reason he could not use the whole space."


PARKING PROBLEMS Mr Brodie's car, left, and the parking warden's van parked nearby, right ANGRY George Brodie on the ramp leading to Longsands. "I had paid pounds 30 for a permit and I was so annoyed," he said
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 11, 2010
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