Wimbledon man fined for 73 second stop to read parking sign
A man who stopped for 73 seconds to read a parking sign has been fined £110.
Mike Housden, 64, from Wimbledon, was driving through Raynes Park when he stopped outside Lloyds Bank cash machine on Coombe lane for 1 minute 13 seconds to read the sign and determine what parking restrictions were in place.
After realising he was not able to stop, Mr Housden swiftly drove off - but not before a mobile CCTV camera snapped him and fined him £110.
Merton Council operates a no stopping policy between the hours of 7 and 10am and 4 to 7pm Monday to Saturday at Coombe Lane, which is enforced by CCTV. Mr Housden being snapped at 4.04pm.
He said: "It was just the absurdity it.
"I thought that was just ridiculous.
"It didn’t give you time to read the sign and drive on again which is all they photographed me do.
"The system I believe is quite illegal as it doesn’t have the requisite signs, it has to be widely advertised and their signs aren’t covering all the entrants to Raynes Park so it is not appropriate."
It is considered best practice for councils to properly publicise areas under surveillance by fixed CCTV cameras which last year raised £1,114,495 for Merton Council from penalty notices.
Mr Housden took his case to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) in North London on June 27 however Merton Council did not attend the hearing saying that they had requested an adjournement and that PATAS has not informed them the case was going ahead.
PATAS ruled in Mr Housden's favour but Merton Council have since asked PATAS to review their decision.
Merton Council cabinet member for performance and implementation Councillor Mark Betteridge said: "At the busiest times of day, there is no waiting time permitted on the stretch of road where the car was seen to be stationary because traffic congestion is an issue in Coombe Lane.
"We understand that it can be frustrating when you get a parking ticket, however, it is our responsibility to enforce traffic laws so we can keep the streets safe for all road users, helping minimise the chances of traffic accidents and keeping the traffic flowing, while also providing enough legitimate parking spaces for residents and visitors.
"Mistakes are sometimes made, and if that happens we’ll put it right.
"In fact, there are many cases where the driver has appealed directly to us and we have upheld their appeal, but in this case we do not believe the original decision should be changed."