by MARY MAGEE
The two machines at Laganbank Road - one is for the car park and the other for on street parking and inset the parking ticket bought by Diane Cordy. US4911-148A0 Plc by AlDAN O'RElLLY
A KNOCKMORE woman was stunned when she returned to her car at Laganbank Road car park on Friday morning to find she had been given a fixed penalty notice even though her ticket hadn't expired and she was clearly parked within the white lines. The problem was she had bought a ticket from the wrong machine.
And the extra blow was she had paid more than if she had used the correct machine.
At first Diane Cordy, from Ballycrea, thought the traffic warden had simply put the ticket on the wrong car.
The 45-year-old had checked that she was well within the time and that she had parked between the white lines. Still baffled she reread the notice which said she was parked in a pay and display car park "without clearly displaying a valid pay and display ticket.
" In fact, while she had put £1.40 into the machine and displayed the ticket in her car she had inadvertently bought the ticket from an on-street parking machine instead of the machine designated for the car park.
Diane, who works for care in the community, had parked her Renault car around 9am close to the health centre to attend a scheduled doctor's appointment.
When I got out of the doctor's I realised that I had still until 11am
as I had already paid
£1.40 so decided to do a little shopping in the town centre" she said.
But when Diane returned to her car at 10.30am she found the ticket.
"I could not believe it," she said. "Since then I have spoken to other people who said that they did the same thing," she said. The two machines are within four steps of each other. I am so annoyed because while I used the wrong machine I had paid 5p more than I should have and still got a ticket!
"I plan to appeal but it is the annoyance. I normally park in private car parks like the multi storey or Jordans Mill. One thing's for sure I will never park in one of those car parks again. What happens if someone is elderly or disabled or a mother who is rushing across for her appointment with the doctor. They could make that same mistake.
"I am still really angry. Why should I have to pay a fine? I had already paid for the ticket and nobody lost out except me because I paid too much."
A spokesperson for the DRD said: When a customer parks in a car park, a ticket should be purchased from a ticket machine located within the car park as tariffs can vary.
The Parking Enforcement Processing Unit, County Hall, Castlerock Road, Coleraine BT51 3HS deals with correspondence regarding Penalty Charge Notices and the customer may forward a written challenge to the Processing Unit. This should be received within 14 days of the issue of the Penalty Charge Notice so that the discount period is held pending a decision on the challenge."