Search

‘Fined for doing a good deed’: Economist contests ‘inhuman’ parking ticket from Camden Council

13:15 11 July 2014

Xenia Wall at the spot on Haverstock Hill where she got the fine. Picture: Polly Hancock

Xenia Wall at the spot on Haverstock Hill where she got the fine. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A retired economist has lambasted parking officials as “inhuman” after being fined £130 for pausing at a bus stop to drop off a frail pensioner at the shops.

Xenia Wall has launched a scathing attack on Camden Council’s “draconian” ticketing culture as she attempts to overturn the charge at the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS).

She was fined after stopping to let her 77-year-old friend out of the car as close as possible to her destination – a newsagent at the top of Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park.

The elderly passenger, who has severe arthritis and suffered a dreadful bout of pneumonia two weeks earlier, was hoping to buy some milk before walking the shortest possible distance to her home in Rosslyn Hill.

However, Camden Council has refused to withraw the parking ticket, insisting only a medical emergency is reason enough to occupy a bus stop.

Mazda-driver Ms Wall told the Ham&High: “They’re putting a price of £130 on helping people. She’s old and unable to walk very well. She’s just had 
really severe pneumonia and really nearly died. She can hardly walk and she chose that shop because it’s nearest to her.

“I paused on that bus stop for one minute – now I have to pay for doing someone a favour.

“The council is anti-human. They’re working in an inhuman way.”

Ms Wall and her friend were returning from a bridge game in Hampstead Garden Suburb – played by mothers of former South Hampstead Junior School pupils – on Friday, June 6, when the parking infringement was captured on CCTV.

The former economist and financial journalist, who lived in Hampstead for 30 years before moving to Queen’s Park in 2005, insists there were no buses in sight during her brief stop.

“It’s putting a dampener on being nice to people,” she added.

Ms Wall went to PATAS this week after an initial appeal was rejected by Camden Council.

In its decision letter, the council said bus stops must be kept clear to avoid delays and “potential hazards” to passengers.

Ms Wall’s explanation about her frail friend was deemed to be “insufficient mitigation”.

Cllr Sally Gimson, cabinet member for sustainability and environment, said: “The CCTV pictures clearly show that the driver could have moved just metres forward to a parking bay where a penalty charge notice would not have been issued for simply dropping off a passenger.

“There are only limited reasons for stopping in a bus stop, such as a medical emergency, and officers have decided that they don’t apply in this case.

“We would remind drivers that stopping in a bus stop is not allowed. They need to check the restrictions in place before parking their vehicle.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:45
Lynne Featherstone accepts her award from Ben Cohen, chief executive and founder of Pink News.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone has been named the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s “ally of the year” by Pink News, the biggest gay news service in Britain.

Yesterday, 15:50
Sheila Gunn

A former Camden councillor who served as press secretary to Sir John Major during a distinguished career in journalism and politics has died.

Yesterday, 14:58
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. Picture: PA Archive/Sean Dempsey.

Communities came together for special events to mark the Jewish day of Shabbat as part of a new initiative spearheaded by the UK’s chief rabbi to engage Jews with the traditional holy day.

Yesterday, 14:48
Dame Maggie Smith was filming on location in Primrose Hill for the film adaptation of Alan Bennett's The Lady in the Van. Picture: Alex Flood

Dame Maggie Smith dressed down for the day to reprise her role as a tramp in the film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s autobiographical play and novel, The Lady in the Van, which was filming at a café in Primrose Hill last Thursday.

Most read news

Biffo and Bobo better stay away from the town of Vendargues this Halloween.

As a state of emergency is declared in Burkina Faso, what does the future hold for its president and people?

It might not be moving very fast but it’s still causing problems.

After staging an Ebola-themed night, a nightclub has been forced to make an apology after hundreds complained about the tasteless event.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition