A nurse on the school run who has been stung with a £70 parking fine is locked in a dispute with the council after claiming she'd only stopped for the lollipop man.
NHS worker Lauren Ford says she was taking her 10-year-old stepdaughter to school in Tunstall, Stoke on Trent, when the lollipop man signalled to allow parents and children to cross the road.
She says, at the same time, her stepdaughter opened the passenger door because her bag was trapped and then shut it soon after – and it was that that was caught on CCTV by the local council’s controversial “spy car”, reports the Stoke Sentinel.
Now staff nurse Lauren has been hit with the penalty for “parking in a non-parking area”. The council challenges Lauren's version of events.
The 27-year-old, from Burslem, said: “The lollipop man stepped out so we stopped so parents could cross the road. I could see there was a CCTV van parked up in the road, probably looking for people who had parked in the wrong area. There were loads of cars down that road.
“My stepdaughter had opened the car door because she had her bag trapped in the door."
She added: “The fine is for parking in a non-parking area but I wasn’t even parked. I had stopped in front of the lollipop man. He was standing in the middle of the road.
"I am angry. It’s like they have given me a fine for not running over the lollipop man. Am I supposed to run him over? It’s unfair.
“I didn’t do anything wrong and I am going to appeal the fine. The road is horrendous anyway.
“It’s not very good when we are working all the time and Christmas is coming up – and then you receive a fine for £70 for dropping your child off at school.”
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has defended the issuing of the ticket.
A spokesman said: “The CCTV footage clearly shows the motorist make the decision to stop on the school keep-clear markings and drop a passenger off in front of the school. The crossing patrol officer then has to step into the road to see if any children were approaching because the vehicle had impeded their view by parking dangerously and putting others at risk.
"The purpose of school keep-clear markings is to keep the space outside schools free from parked vehicles so that children can be seen more easily when crossing the road.
"The overriding priority around schools is the safety of children and parents who take their children to school by car must obey the parking regulations in place.
"We welcome legitimate appeals against parking tickets but we do not apologise for promoting and enforcing road safety outside schools.”
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