Wind cost me �25 parking fine, fumes mum

AN ANGRY Sidmouth mum-of-two has blasted council chiefs who refused to overturn a parking penalty caused by a gust of wind.

Beth Pearson paid for a two-hour stop-off at the Ham – only for the elements to send the ticket she purchased spiralling out of view from the dashboard of her van.

Manstone Avenue resident Beth was baffled when she returned from shopping in good time to discover a fine slapped on the vehicle.

She subsequently found the ticket in a footwell and expected the punishment to be quashed – but has seen two appeals rejected.

East Devon District Council told Beth she hadn’t been penalised for not paying to park, but for not displaying the ticket properly.

Artist Beth, 47, felt she had no option but to stump up the �25 charge last week as it was in danger of being doubled.

“I couldn’t afford �25, let alone �50 – especially at this time of year,” she said. “It’s criminal – they are just trying to get money out of honest people.”

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Beth added that the penalty was issued on November 27 in a week Sidmouth was battered by storms, and the ticket was displayed on the dashboard when she left her van.

“I wasn’t expecting it to blow off. The weather was severe that day and it was extremely windy. I very rarely park in town and never try and get away without paying. I’m not going to be using any of [EDDC’s] car parks again.”

A spokesman for the council said: “While we sympathise with customers when they have made a genuine mistake, our approach has been not to accept a paid-for ticket produced some time later.

“This has had the support of the independent parking adjudicator on appeal – and our parking order states categorically that the ticket must be clearly on display.”

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