A MOTORIST was left frustrated after she discovered a £50 fine slapped on her car despite adhering to parking rules – because a warden’s GPS signal dropped out.
Lorna Wilson, of Marmion Road, was given the penalty notice by a Portsmouth City Council warden last Thursday even though she held a residential parking permit and was parked in a permit-allocated space.
The 47-year-old paid £30 for her annual permit earlier this year that allows her to park in certain spaces in the KC zone of the city which covers west Southsea.
She said: ‘I’ve never had a problem with my permit before. I just came out of the house to find a parking ticket on my car.
‘I was parked in the correct part of Marmion Road on the side that says “three hours or permit holder”.
‘The fine was for £50 but if I paid straight away it would be £25.
‘But if you leave it longer the amount goes up and up.
‘So I immediately rang the council. It is just not on.’
Residential permits from the council are now purely online with no paper copy. The council confirmed that the error was due to a technical glitch and withdrew the fine.
Lorna said: ‘Apparently my road is a black spot for phone signal. The wardens use some kind of hand-held thing that uses GPS and this was affected.
‘The council realised that I had a permit but I shouldn’t have had to complain. Some people might have just accepted that they were in the wrong and paid the fee.’
In the KC zone there are currently 1,888 permit holders but only 1,548 permit spaces. In Lorna’s road there are only 12 spaces but 36 permits have been issued.
The mum-of-four was concerned about the general lack of permit parking spaces in her area.
She added: ‘I have complained. I can hardly ever park on my road. I have to go to the other side of Victoria Road South.’
The council’s transport boss, Cllr Lynne Stagg, said: ‘This parking charge notice was issued in error because of a technical fault.
‘As soon as we were made aware of the error, we immediately cancelled it and apologised for the inconvenience to the resident.
‘Parking continues to be one of the key issues in Portsmouth and finding solutions to address it is my top priority.’