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Gloucestershire Echo - - FRONT PAGE - sa­[email protected]­plc.com Sa­muel PORT

AN an­gry mo­torist has hit out after be­ing slapped with a fine for park­ing in a taxi rank. Martin Rad­ford re­ceived a fine from Glouces­ter­shire County Coun­cil for park­ing along the Prom­e­nade in Chel­tenham, op­po­site Jack Wills, in the evening.

He says it was un­clear that the area, which can be used as a gen­eral park­ing area through the day, be­comes a taxi rank from 6pm.

The York­shire­man said the ticket ma­chine did not pro­vide any in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the space’s function in the evening and the signs stat­ing the change-over were blocked by trees at ei­ther end of the road.

Mr Rad­ford, 57, said: “It’s not so much the money that I’m par­tic­u­larly both­ered about. It’s the prin­ci­ple.

“Al­though, it’s not the sort of thing I want to be spend­ing my money on.”

He parked up at around 7pm in the marked out space on Thurs­day July 25.

Mr Rad­ford, who is em­ployed as a lab­o­ra­tory tech­ni­cian, says that he went to pay ‘in good faith’ and read the in­struc­tions, which read that 8am-6pm were when charges ap­ply.

So he as­sumed that the park­ing would be free.

How­ever, when he re­turned an hour later after hav­ing food, a traf­fic war­den was tick­et­ing a car be­hind him.

He en­quired whether he was okay to park there.

The traf­fic war­den in­formed him about how the bays be­came a taxi traf­fic and then ad­min­is­tered a fine.

Mr Rad­ford ap­pealed against the fine on­line and within the mes­sage to the coun­cil he states: “I fully ex­pect to get the re­ply telling me that all sig­nage meets the le­gal re­quire­ments. I’m sure it does.

“But eth­i­cally? Mo­rally? I don’t think it does.”

He told said: “Any­one pulling up to park there would read the in­struc­tions on the me­ter and if it says 8am-6pm, you take it as free after 6pm.

“You shouldn’t ex­pect to then go and

It’s not so much the money that I’m par­tic­u­larly both­ered about. It’s the prin­ci­ple.

Martin Rad­ford

have to find an­other sign that says no park­ing after 6pm ex­cept for taxis.

“They [the coun­cil] should have left in­struc­tions on the me­ter or on an­other no­tice next to it.”

Mr Rad­ford was in the town cen­tre that evening watch Welsh co­me­dian Rhod Ghilbert per­form live.

He says the ex­pe­ri­ence “put a damp­ener on the night”.

He added: “I was an­noyed at get­ting a ticket, they should have made the sig­nage bla­tantly ob­vi­ous on the me­ter.”

A spokesper­son for the county coun­cil said: “We are­about to update the signs on the Prom­e­nade park­ing ma­chines.

“Al­though the signs and lines in place are cor­rect, we have al­ready up­dated ma­chines in other ar­eas of the town with sim­i­lar dual use bays to as­sist our cus­tomers.

“We en­cour­age Mr Rad­ford to fol­low the in­struc­tions on the ticket if he wishes to chal­lenge his fine.”

They added that ‘dual use’ bays are in place be­cause town cen­tres have dif­fer­ent de­mands by day and night.

The coun­cil elab­o­rated that the dual use “help to bal­ance the range of lo­cal re­quire­ments; shop­pers want to park by day, restau­rant go­ers or those go­ing club­bing want to be able to catch a taxi home in the evening or late at night”.

Martin Rad­ford is an­gry that Glouces­ter­shire County Coun­cil gave him a fine for be­ing parked in a taxi rank, claim­ing that he wasn’t provded ad­e­quate sig­nage

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