A Bexhill woman has called on the council to show some compassion after she was given an £80 parking ticket while saying goodbye to her sister who was heading back to New Zealand.
Katie Towers, 55, went to Battle Abbey on Wednesday, July 17, with her sister Jo Towers-Poll, 49, who was due to fly back home to New Zealand later that day.
The sisters, who had not seen each for seven and a half years, parked at the Mount Street car park in Battle.
They returned to the car park before Katie’s ticket ran out but, after an emotional goodbye took them over the ten minute waiting period, she was issued an £80 parking ticket.
Katie said: “We went over to him (the parking warden) who was just putting the ticket onto my car. I had tears streaming from my eyes because I didn’t know when I was going to see my sister again.
“He said he couldn’t do anything because he’d already issued it by then.
“He would have seen us in the car park before our time was up. He could have come over to warn us or anything.
“It ruined our farewell as you can imagine.”
Katie emailed Rother District Council to explain the situation.
The council responded saying there were six grounds for appeal but stated Katie’s reason did not fall within any of these.
Shocked at the council’s response, Katie said: “I think the world has gone a bit made – a bit jobsworth.
“We were in the car park at the right time but I just hadn’t got to my car at the right time.
“I should probably have put another pound in but it was an emotional time and I just didn’t think about it. I just thought it was ridiculous.
“I’m not trying to get away without paying as I did pay for my ticket but I think there should be a bit more compassion in the world. An £80 charge for being two minutes over seems a bit extortionate.”
Katie said she has decided to submit a formal appeal to the council.
The council said it would be considered by an independent officer.
A Rother District Council spokesman said: “Any motorist issued with a penalty notice has the right to appeal the decision.
“In the first instance an informal appeal can be made and, if the motorist is not happy with the outcome, a formal appeal can be considered by an independent officer. All cases are considered on individual evidence submitted.”