Motorist appeals fine and says official photos tell true story

Photographs taken by the DRD show the car appearing to be inside the lines.
Photographs taken by the DRD show the car appearing to be inside the lines.

A motorist was given a ticket for parking outside the white lines in Magowan Buildings car park even though the DRD’s own photographs appear to show otherwise.

Joanne Vince, who works in a nearby company, insists she was parked within the lines and is appealing.

Ms Vince had gone into town during her lunch hour and parked opposite B&M Bargains.

She said, “I had actually walked around the front of the car to have a quick look at my tyres before I went into B&M because I was worried about one of them being a bit flat and was happy at that point that I was within the spaces.

“There were also two traffic wardens checking the row of cars on my right and the car park was by no means busy. I had no reason to think I was going to come back out to my car and find a ticket.”

But that’s exactly what happened. Within five minutes, Ms Vince had returned to her car and found a fixed penalty notice on the windscreen.

She said, “It’s just ridiculous. The ticket said I was not ‘parked wholly within the markings of the bay/space’ but the photos show I was within the lines.

“The only thing I can think of is the fact that the lines are more faded on one side which may mean they no longer class that space as a parking area. However, as there were no signs to advise this and the lines were still visible I didn’t think anything of it.

“I bought my ticket at 12.39 and the penalty notice was given at 12.44, and there were two wardens just feet away, so there’s a good chance they saw me park there. If I couldn’t park in that space, why didn’t they say so?”

Ms Vince logged on to the Transport NI website the following morning to dispute the fine.

She added, “I usually park in Magowan Buildings at lunchtime but I will not be parking there again. In my opinion, two traffic wardens in a half empty car park on a Monday lunchtime is a bit excessive.

“I have never had a ticket in my life and I would hate to see other people being robbed of £45 in the same way I was. I feel this is an issue that people who live and work in Portadown should be aware of.”

A TransportNI spokesperson said, “Any driver may challenge a PCN directly with the department if they feel it was incorrectly issued. As the PCN in this particular case has been challenged it would not be appropriate to comment until the challenge has been fairly and fully investigated.”