Driver’s misery as tickets mount up
A HAMPSTEAD man has told how the council s parking department s insensitivity has made his life a misery. Christopher Mason, of Ellerdale Road, has been suffering from depression after a close friend died in October. The 59-year-old says thing
A HAMPSTEAD man has told how the council's parking department's insensitivity has made his life a misery.
Christopher Mason, of Ellerdale Road, has been suffering from depression after a close friend died in October.
The 59-year-old says things have been made worse since he received three parking tickets - and no response from the council when he appealed.
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His car was first slapped with a parking ticket after it broke down in Prince Arthur Road on December 12.
He also received a ticket when he stopped for two minutes while delivering books to Hampstead Community Centre in the High Street on December 20.
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And he got another when a bay was suspended outside his house on January 12 - and no work was done.
Mr Mason said: "I put a 'broken down' notice on the dashboard and called the RAC but they couldn't come out until the afternoon. I have sent the council records of that but I've had no reply.
"I responded to all three notices, with reference to the ticket number. Two of them the council said it never received. The other officers said they did not have an address so they could not reply.
"Meanwhile the computer was churning out more notices to owner. I am a ratepayer so of course they have my address. We're in La La land."
Mr Mason called the council and was told he needed to speak to Mr Matthews at Parking Solutions.
But when he called, he was told Mr Matthews was not "telephone-based".
Mr Mason said: "This issue is going to be as big as the poll tax. Nothing brings people together like this. Camden Council should send out a questionnaire asking people's age, sex and occupation.
"They will realise how this tax is being imposed right across the social spectrum. To women in 4x4s it may be nothing - but to pensioners it is a fortune. It is so indiscriminate.
"Every £50 on parking is £50 out of the local economy. They are killing the area."
Council officers have rejected Mr Mason's appeal against the ticket on Hampstead High Street, saying he was "clearly parked on zigzag lines".
And they refused to overturn the ticket for parking in a suspended bay, which was not being used.
Camden Council said: "Although Mr Mason has stated there were no works in evidence, the council has a duty to ensure that a suspended bay is kept free for the intended works.
"Simply, it isn't for a driver to decide whether a suspension is applicable or not as they don't know what time the work is scheduled to take place."
But the council says it may cancel the first ticket once they review the RAC report.
"If it transpires his vehicle had broken down then officers could use their discretion to cancel the ticket," a spokesman said.