Parking blunder sees church goers fined
PARISHIONERS at St Columba’s Cathedral in Oban have been shocked to find car parking tickets pasted over more than 20 cars while they attended mass.
The town’s car parking attendant targeted the cars of people who have been going to mass in the same church and parking in the same place for more than 30 years.
Sandy McGregor, nephew of one of the octogenarian church goers, said: ‘ Whilst attending St Columba’s Cathedral church, as my 79-year- old uncle does every Sunday morning, he returned to his car to find out he had a parking ticket.
‘He was not the only one. Everyone who parked on the single yellow line across the road from the cathedral also got one.
‘Some common sense should apply here.
‘It is truly a sad day when parking attendants are targeting people at church on a Sunday.
‘As far as he was aware the parking restrictions on the single yellow line only apply Monday to Saturday and in the last 30 years he has been parking on the single yellow line across from the cathedral on a Sunday and he has never received a ticket nor has anyone else he knows. He is very upset over the matter.
‘Are we so badly off for money in Argyll and Bute that an old man cannot go and say prayers on a Sunday for an hour without fear that he will be fined for doing so?
‘In pursuit of attendants meeting targets are we going to be putting off people from going to worship in their community?
‘I don’t think £70 fines will do much for anyone’s mental health never mind the pocket of a pensioner.’
Graham Fraser from art shop Alba on Albany Street said: ‘It is high time the council considered the problems that parking charges are causing.
‘Evidence from Wales now shows that by cancelling parking charges towns can achieve a 50 per cent rise in business.’
In response to the parking tickets given out near the cathedral, councillor Elaine Robertson said: ‘ We will be taking this up and apologise for the lack of consideration and the concern this has caused.’
An Argyll and Bute council spokesman said: ‘There are no targets either for the number of [ parking contravention notices] PCNs a warden must issue or for income from decriminalised parking enforcement.
‘The council took on the responsibility for enforcing parking regulations throughout the area to ensure effective traffic management in our towns.’
The spokesman added: ‘Outside the cathedral on the seaward side of the road there are two separate parking restrictions.
‘There is a single yellow line which indicates that parking or waiting at that roadside is prohibited at certain times of day, in this instance from Monday to Saturday.
‘There are also sections of double yellow lines which mean no waiting at any time.
‘If cars are caught parking on the double yellow lines the issuing of a PCN is legitimate.
‘If cars were parked on the single yellow line on Sunday and were issued with PCNs this was in error and we will, of course, rescind them and apologise for any confusion.
‘We would encourage anyone who was in the area on Sunday and feels they may have been incorrectly issued with a PCN to make contact with us (as we do not hold their contact details) using the contact details on the back of the PCN and we will look into it.’