Parking rules not clear, says angry motorist

The junction and stetch of road in Thomas Street where the fines were issued. INPT10-075
The junction and stetch of road in Thomas Street where the fines were issued. INPT10-075

A Portadown man has criticised the “unfair” system after he was fined for parking in an area with no yellow markings.

Eddie McDonald, who works in Thomas Street, said he was upset and angry to find tickets on both of his cars which were parked in the street directly below his office.

Mr McDonald said the cars were in front of the pedestrian crossing but beyond the yellow line marker.

“I checked with DRD and this marker indicates the end of the 15 metre corner restriction,” he added.

However, police insist Mr McDonald was parked within a junction, pointing out, “It is an offence to park within 15m of a Junction (N006)”.

Mr McDonald, who paid £30 for each fixed penalty notice, added, “There are neither road markings nor signs indicating that it is illegal to park there. This is an area where residents and keyholders have been parking for many years without any restrictions.”

The Portadown man visited the police station and was advised to pay but to appeal the fines. He said, “I was unsure about this as the options given on the ticket were to pay the fine or go to court, but I went ahead and appealed.”

He received a letter in reply saying the Fixed Penalty Processing Centre was unable to deal with explanations from motorists, but that his letter would be forwarded to the District Commander.

However, Area Commander Paul Reid upheld the fines. He said, “The vehicles were parked beyond the stop line, at the traffic light, delimiting the junction and therefore within the junction.”

Mr McDonald said, “I have checked the Highway Code and found nothing relating to this. Where is it safe to park in Portadown? You think if there are no yellow lines it’s safe.”

A TransportNI spokesperson said their traffic attendants can only issue a penalty notice where parking restrictions are clearly marked and prescribed in legislation. “Typically, these restrictions will be marked as single or double yellow lines and accompanied by supporting signage, where appropriate.”