Angry grandmother Lesley Thompson reckons that the DRD should send its traffic wardens to Specsavers if they enforce the parking ticket that was appended to her car on Friday.
For she insists that all four wheels of her Honda were perfectly within the white lines of the space at Magowan Buildings car park – and Mrs Thompson’s valid payment ticket was clearly on her windscreen.
“I can’t for the life of me understand why I was ticketed,” said Mrs Thompson (65), a semi-retired care worker and grandmother of five. “I’m not paying the fine. I’d go to jail rather than pay up. I was shopping at Poundstretcher and wasn’t away from my car for more than half-an-hour.
“I’m really annoyed about this. I’ve been driving for over 35 years and haven’t committed a hint of a motoring offence. And I’m fighting this stupidity tooth and nail. I suffer from angina and this has really riled me”
Her daughter-in-law Katherine phoned Upper Bann MP David Simpson’s office in Thomas Street, and he arrived within minutes, along with colleague Carla Lockhart to see for themselves.
“The car was totally within the white lines – no mistake,” said Mr Simpson. “It may have been at a slight angle, but none of the wheels were on or near a line. Are traffic wardens now being issued with set squares to measure the angle of parking? It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.
“Mrs Thompson was obviously annoyed, and I have written to the DRD to appeal. This is the latest abomination to hit Portadown recently on the parking front and it will have to stop. Of course, we need disciplined parking, but a bit of common sense is required all round.”
“Whatever the reply, I won’t be paying it,” said Mrs Thompson. “It’s incredible.”
A Department of Regional Development spokesman said everyone who receives a penalty charge is “entitled to make a challenge”.