Driver fined £70 for seven second stop at taxi rank
A RETIRED firefighter was fined “£10 a second” after parking for just seven seconds to drop off his elderly mother-in-law at the Bolton Food and Drink Festival.
Ian Hardman, aged 58, from Bradshaw, pulled up briefly in a taxi rank in Knowsley Street on Saturday, August 24.
He demanded those responsible for issuing the “ridiculous” penalty notice should be disciplined after he was hit by a £70 fine — which could be discounted to £35 for an early payment.
Mr Hardman parked at 2.22pm and 28 seconds — a second photo from a traffic camera seven seconds later showed his car had moved several feet forward after his wife’s mother Audrey Harrison had got out.Bolton Council conceded that they could see why Mr Hardman was so angry but defended the penalty notice, arguing that it fell in line with the law.
Mr Hardman said: “To be honest my first reaction when I got the fine was shock.
“It took me a while to realise what the offence was and when I did I burst out laughing.”
He has swiftly appealed the decision and the council have told him to expect a response within 14 days.
He added: “The council must be very hard-up if they’re charging people for seven seconds. The time I moved off has been left off the notice as it would make them look so stupid.
“It is just ridiculous — whoever has seen this and then sent it out ought to be demoted.”
He added: “Our town centre is dead now, full of charity shops and empty buildings and it’s no wonder.
“Shoppers don’t want to come here any more.”
The council said parking and stopping, for any time, in taxi ranks contravenes the Highway Code.
A spokesman said: “The taxi rank is reserved for the use of hackney carriage drivers only and no other vehicles are permitted to stop there.
“We acknowledge this driver may feel that the fine is unfair because he was there for only a short period of time.
“However, the taxi rank is clearly signed and stopping in the rank, even for a few seconds, could prevent a taxi from parking and picking up a fare.”
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