Parking fine for helping donate to charity

Oxfam Shop on Drymen Rd, Bearsden
Oxfam Shop on Drymen Rd, Bearsden

A Bearsden resident has slammed East Dunbartonshire Council over their decision to issue a parking fine - while she donated to Oxfam!

Jane Blake had been dropping off a load of heavy hardback books to her local branch of the charity, and was aghast to find a traffic warden issuing her with the penalty when she came out of the shop.

She subsequently appealed that decision and has now received notification that her appeal has been rejected, on the grounds that she was unloading items from a car, as opposed to a goods vehicle!

Jane told us: “Surely there should be a measure of flexibility here to reflect the fact that I was only parked for a very brief time, and to allow me to make a donation to Oxfam?

“The donations were too heavy for me to carry for a longer distance. It seems morally wrong to penalise me for this.

“If other people are to learn of these types of fines it is also likely to impact donations to the charity.

“I did find it incredulous that the traffic warden issued me with a fine, when I explained why I had parked there.

“It is disappointing that the initial appeal process has also rejected my claim. That suggests to me that the parking officers are target driven.”

Jane confirmed that the drop-off took approximately 3-5 minutes; it could not have taken any less time as she simply handed the plastic box with the books over and left.

She also said her vehicle was not left unattended as her eldest son was waiting in it for her return. The warden never bothered to approach him.

Jane had been parked in a loading bay at the time in question and regulations state: “When part of the road has been reserved specifically for vehicles loading and unloading it will be marked by a white bay with the phrase ‘loading only’ and there will also be a white and blue trolley symbol.

“The sign will tell you if loading and unloading is restricted to goods vehicles and at which times the bay can be used.

“You are not permitted to park here if you are not loading or unloading.”

Rule 247 of the Highway Code says: “Do not load or unload where there are yellow markings on the kerb and upright signs advise restrictions are in place. This may be permitted where parking is otherwise restricted.”

It appears there is some confusion over the interpretation of the definition whether Jane’s car was a ‘goods vehicle’ at the time she was unloading.

Thomas Glen, Depute Chief Executive, Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets at East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “The loading bay area outside the row of shops on Drymen Road, Bearsden, is a loading bay for light goods vehicles only. There are also parking places for all other vehicles within this section of the road and signage explaining the parking regulations within the designated parking bays. Any motorist in breach of these regulations is liable to be issued with a fixed penalty notice. Anyone wishing to appeal a fixed penalty notice can do so by following the instructions on the rear of the notice.”