Fuming Gary falls foul of pavement parking rule as 17 other vehicles avoid fine

Furious Gary Wood believes his 24-hour recovery truck was unfairly targeted for a parking fine - despite 17 other vehicles in his 'narrow' residential street escaping the same fate the next day.

Self-employed Gary left his truck on the pavement as he has done for years to ensure traffic could get past on Westbourne Drive in Tunstall. But he was dismayed to be issued with a penalty charge notice on Tuesday (April 30) under a 62 contravention.

A 62 contravention states: “Parked with one or more wheels on any part of an urban road other than the carriageway (footpath parking)."

Gary, who has lived on the road since 1991, claimed to have parked his vehicle in the same spot on the pavement for the past seven years without issue. He had previously left the truck away from the house but diesel was syphoned.

READ: Live: Parking ticket protest sees 'blockade' on Stoke-on-Trent road Gary Wood is urging residents in Westbourne Drive, Tunstall, to leave their vehicles fully on the street to prove his point

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After receiving the fine, Gary moved the vehicle onto Westbourne Drive to avoid getting stung again. But when StokeonTrentLive visited Gary at his home address yesterday afternoon (May 1), many drivers struggled to get past. A number of vehicles were forced to reverse down the street, with one individual shouting abuse.

During the same Wednesday afternoon, StokeonTrentLive counted 17 other cars parked on the pavement and, at that stage, no fines had been issued.

Gary said: “There are loads of other cars on the pavements, I've been singled out. I'm not paying it, I'm not funding the council's debt. We should all have one or none of us. I want to know why I'm the only one. I use that vehicle nearly every day and it pays my council tax!

"I'm not happy about this at all. I'm not paying the fine - not over my dead body. I’ve phoned the council about eight times this morning. They’re telling me to appeal against the ticket, which is what normal people do. I’m saying it has been issued incorrectly, I believe I’ve been singled out against others.”

With the bins due to be emptied this morning (May 2), Gary believes the councils' refuse wagons are going to be unable to negotiate the road.

Gary added: "I've parked my car, truck and van off the pavements and they'll be staying there. I don't want another ticket. I've let a few people through out of courtesy but no bins will be getting emptied on Thursday - it's not my problem."

Many residents claimed that previous access was available at the back of the house for parking until but this has since been removed by the the council. Sharon Evans, who has lived on the street for 25 years, said: “I’ve always said this should be made a one way street because you can’t get through no matter what.

“It’s a nightmare, to penalise one person is wrong. They should make it one way, or make the pavements narrower. The truck has been there for ages and caused no problem.”

Sharon is concerned that drivers keen to avoid a fine by parking on the road will result in fire engines and ambulances unable to get through.

According to the RAC, the law on pavement parking outside London is a grey area. The highway code rule 244 states drivers 'MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it', the key part being the word 'should not'.

However, rule 242 of the same code states 'You MUST NOT leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road'.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been approached for comment.

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