A LANCASTER man has racked up a staggering 100 parking tickets since moving to the city centre.
Richard de la Riviere is now calling on the county council to stop punishing householders for parking near their homes.
Queen Street resident Richard, 35, said he received his first ticket within 10 minutes of arriving at his new home in January 2004 and claims to have been penalised non-stop since then.
The rugby journalist and business owner said that on contacting Lancashire County Council (LCC) this week he was told to either sell his car or buy a plot of land to park on, a claim the council has not denied.
He said that this “proved that the council had failed residents in the area and was profiting from its own incompetencies”.
“Lindow Street is nearly always empty during the day, but has pay and display parking, and is not available for permit holders. From the very first day I moved in, I put a note in the car window to say I’d just arrived, and within 10 minutes I’d had my first ticket of about 100. Since then it’s been never ending.
“On one occasion I returned from Sainsbury’s at 10.15pm in heavy rain and didn’t want to park across town and walk back with all my shopping, I just wanted to park until 9.30am the next morning.
“With Zone A full, my only other option was to park in Lindow Street. So I did.
“The next day I got to the car at 9.50am and I was just being issued a ticket.
“The council knows everyone is unhappy but they won’t do anything about it.”
Mr de la Riviere said he had never tried to get away without paying, and owned a £40 permit, but it didn’t guarantee a parking space, and his job meant he had to come and go from the area regularly.
LCC has admitted that there is “considerable pressure” on parking in the area and is looking to amend the scheme, brought in last February largely to reduce commuter parking on residential streets.
Mr de la Riviere added: “If they would just make half of Lindow Street Zone A, that would solve most of the problems.
“When you continue to get punished just for living here that is wrong, and at the moment I’m planning my day around when and where I can park.”
Ian Welsby, LCC’s highways manager for Lancaster, said: “Since introducing the new residents’ parking zones ...we’ve received a lot of feedback about the way they operate and have drafted designs for some amendments to the scheme.
“These are being considered by councillors.
“Once we’ve received feedback we hope to publish the plans and consult residents in the affected zones about whether they’d like to see the changes put in place.
“We know the pressure on parking in this area is considerable and we’re doing all we can to make the arrangements work as well as possible for the benefit of everyone who needs to park there.”