Nightmare on George Street - smart car owner's parking ticket horror
Vanessa Price was given a ticket for parking her smart car at a right angle in the bay on George Street (2271634)
A SMART car owner who drove into Stroud to buy sweets for trick-or-treaters enjoying Halloween was ticketed by a traffic warden earlier today after parking her vehicle at a right angle to the kerb.
It was a case of Nightmare on George Street for 43-year-old Vanessa Price, who was hit with a fine of up to £50 for an ‘enforceable’ offence, having squeezed into a space outside the town centre Heritage Store.
Although the ability of smart cars to fit into small spaces at 90 degree angles to the pavement is well known and a unique selling point of the vehicles, the traffic warden insisted he was within his rights to issue a parking ticket because the front of the car overlapped the white bay markings.
Vanessa, who regularly positions her diminutive motor in the unorthodox fashion to fit it into tight spaces, said she was ‘fuming’ when she realised she had been given a fine.
“I have parked like this in Stroud, London and Bristol and never had any trouble before,” she said.
“If you go onto the smart website they show you pictures of their cars parked in that way. I actually brought it precisely because it can do this sort of thing and because it is very fuel-efficient.”
Whiteshill resident Vanessa, who works in Assured Mobility four days a week and also runs her own business – Bumble Bee Face Painting, had met her firefighter husband Steve, 41, in town minutes before the ticketing fiasco.
As the pair were walking over to the Wilkinson store, Steve spotted the warden next to their car and the couple went over to confront him.
“I tried to reason with him but he was having none of it,” said Vanessa, who has lived in Stroud her whole life.
“A lot of people were coming out of the shops and taking photos and saying how wrong it was. That is the whole point of a smart car – to park it like this. It wasn't blocking the road and there were other cars over the white lines.
“I’m fuming. I came into Stroud for five minutes shopping to get sweets for Halloween and I’ve ended up with a £50 parking ticket. It’s been a horror show.”
Vanessa has already appealed against the award of the ticket by email and is hopeful of avoiding the fine of £25, which will double if not paid within a two-week period.
Speaking to the SNJ, the traffic warden who administered the ticket was unrepentant and said that a passing police officer had backed his decision.
“The vehicle wasn’t parked properly. It was not in line with the flow of the traffic and the front of the car was over the markings.
“I have never seen a car parked like that before. The policeman who came up and spoke to us said it was an enforceable offence even though the public were saying it wasn’t.
“In my opinion, it is not a very smart way to park your car.”
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