Rip Off Britain: Lawyer Gary Rycroft gives tips on parking tickets
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A Manchester man says he was stunned after being slapped with hefty fines for parking on double yellow lines and another for driving in a bus lane. However, the 25-year-old, who asked not to be named, says he was 1,800 miles away.
He said he faces losing his car if he fails to pay the fines – which have grown to more than £1,000.
The man explained how he parked his car outside his Manchester home before jetting off in June to spend three months in Greece – where his mother lives.
But when he returned in September, he discovered that his car was missing.
He reported it as stolen to police, who told him his car had been found and impounded by Manchester council.
After contacting the town hall, the driver discovered he had been issued a number of penalty charge notices.
They claimed he had parked on double yellow lines on Cambridge Street and Lower Chatham Street, as well as driving in a bus lane on Oxford Road.
The driver insisted that it could not have been him as the incidents took place in late August – a month before he returned home.
He said he had provided bank statements to the council, showing transactions taking place in Crete, in addition to his passport stamps and flight tickets for the trip.
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The council also asked to see a report from Greater Manchester Police on the car being reported stolen – but even with that, the driver says he was told the evidence was still insufficient.
The motorist says he is still facing the prospect of having to pay around £1,500 to pay to get the car back from the impound, or risk losing the car.
Commenting on the situation, he described it as a “complete nightmare”.
He told Manchester Evening News: “I don’t know what else they want from me.
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“I don’t really know what else I can do. They keep saying it’s insufficient but I’ve given them everything.”
The driver says the cost of recovering his car is increasing by £12 for each day it remains at the impound, and the battle to recover it has been going on for weeks.
He claims they won’t give his car back to him unless he pays the fine, which he has appealed and provided evidence for.
The man added: “I now have no car and potentially in a considerable amount of debt and I risk my car being disposed of, after it was stolen when I was out of the country.”
If a driver is caught by CCTV illegally using a bus lane, bus-only street or bus gate, a penalty charge notice letter will be issued by the post to the owner.
This PCN will cost £90, although if paid within 14 days, the driver will receive a 50 percent discount and only need to pay £45.
If it is not paid within 28 days, a “Notice to Owner” will be sent to the owner, in which case the cost of the charge will increase to £135.
A spokesperson for Manchester council said: “As this case is still currently under council investigation it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”
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