Parking ticket for car abandoned in floods

A Sidmouth shop worker became a flood victim after she abandoned her car when the road home turned into a river - and was slapped with a parking ticket.

Shocked Mandy O’Donnell appealed against the �50 fine, but was this week told parking regulations were still in force - despite last weekend’s wild weather chaos.

Co-operative employee Mandy, 55, felt she had no choice but to ditch her Vauxhall Corsa in Sidford’s district council-run car park on Saturday, July 7, as torrential rain rendered roads around the Sid Valley impassable.

She returned to the vehicle just hours later - only to find a penalty notice stuck to the windscreen.

“I just couldn’t believe it. There was no way I could get home,” said Mandy.

“I thought I was doing the right thing by parking it up somewhere out of the way and coming back when it was safer.”

Mandy was heading home to Sidbury after an early-morning shift at the town’s High Street Co-op store when rising flood waters stopped her getting to the junction with the A3052.

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She tried an alternative route through Manstone and got to Sidford - but it was clear the remainder of the route was completely inaccessible in her hatchback.

“I didn’t have any money with me because I’d been at work and you’re not allowed to carry any cash, so I couldn’t buy a ticket,” said Mandy.

“I thought, because of the flooding, it would be OK for a couple of hours.”

After parking up at around 10.45am, she was offered a lift by a woman in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, and walked back to her car less than two hours later - once the floodwater had receded.

A ticket had been issued on her car at 12.26pm.

Angry Mandy contacted the council to appeal, but was subsequently told the fine would not be overturned.

Mandy was told in a council letter: “After careful consideration of the circumstances, we have found no grounds for cancellation of the charge.”

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