A Worksop resident was stunned when bailiffs arrived at the doorstep of his family home demanding £400 for an unpaid parking ticket that he claims he paid nine months ago.
Martin Rhodes, a Father-of-three, said he parked in the Town Hall car park in January of this year and paid the correct fee before displaying his ticket in the front of his car.
But upon his return to the vehicle, Mr Rhodes was confused to discover a notice from the traffic warden informing that he had not paid and would be fined.
Mr Rhodes said he had the ticket verified by the council and emailed this documentation to the department that deals with Worksop’s car parks.
He assumed that was the end of the matter, but on Tuesday 2nd September the bailiffs came knocking and demanded £400.
Said Martin: “It was very upsetting to say the least, being told I had to hand over £400 or have my personal items taken away.”
Martin has since ‘given in’ and paid the £400 fine because he couldn’t see ‘any other way to make it stop’.
He added: “It would have cost me £150 to reopen my appeal with a magistrate and I couldn’t face going through it all again.”
“I am £400 worse off and, being self-employed and struggling to find work at the moment, I just don’t have that kind of money to throw around.”
“The situation is ridiculous. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”
A spokesman for Bassetlaw Council defended the council’s actions, stating that Mr Rhodes did not display his parking ticket in the front of his car as instructed by the machine.
The spokesman added that Mr Rhodes had also been sent six months’ worth of correspondence which he ignored, leading to escalating debts and a visit from the bailiffs.
They said: “Our Parking Places Orders specify that motorists must clearly display a valid ticket and in this case there was no clear evidence of the ticket in the vehicle.”
“This is why a Penalty Charge Notice was issued and why the initial appeal from Mr Rhodes was rejected.”
“Mr Rhodes could have appealed to the independent traffic penalty tribunal, or could have paid the fixed penalty notice. If settled within 14 days, this would have cost £25.”
“Unfortunately, over a period of six months, Mr Rhodes did not respond to any of the formal letters issued and the seven opportunities to settle the ticket and this ultimately led to a visit from the bailiffs.”