DRIVER SLAPPED WITH FINE FOR STOPPING AT BUS STOP FOR EIGHT SECONDS

DRIVER SLAPPED WITH FINE FOR STOPPING AT BUS STOP FOR EIGHT SECONDS

A driver was left fuming when he was slapped with a £70 fine after he stopped on a bus stop – for just EIGHT seconds.

Jimmy Prendergast (corr), 22, was caught by a controversial council spy car as he pulled over to drop his girlfriend off in a busy city centre.

But he was stunned when a £70 penalty notice showing his red Volkswagen Polo in the bus stop dropped through his letterbox 20 days later.

Photographs sent with the fine show he pulled into the bus stop at 09.44.35 on March 8 this year before setting off again at 09.44:43 – just eight seconds later.

The heavy-handed fine means Jimmy has to pay £8.75 for every second his car was stationary.

Yesterday (Mon), the furious motorist blasted Stoke-on-Trent Council for “robbing him blind”.

He said: “My girlfriend was meeting a friend who she hadn’t seen for a while.

“There was a car right behind me so I just quickly pulled in for eight seconds then left.

“There were no signs saying you cannot stop there or double yellow lines and no signs saying anything about cameras.

“This is a massive injustice and rather pathetic as the council is screwing good motorists like myself.

“I was parked for just eight seconds and my penalty charge document clearly shows this on the photographs but they’ve still decided to fine me.

“I’ve paid for their Christmas p*ss-up that is for sure, I will have bought them a few bottles of champagne.”

Jimmy insists he checked to make sure there were no buses in sight when he stopped at the bus stop on Quadrant Road near the intu Potteries shopping centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

The driver, who has no penalty points, said he paid his fine – which was reduced to £35 within 21 days – because he couldn’t afford a lengthy legal battle.

Jimmy, who lives in Talke, Stoke-on-Trent, added: “I just couldn’t believe it when the fine came through.

“If I was parked there for a while or blocking buses from coming in then I would deserve everything I got.

“But the fact that it was just eight seconds and there were no buses around, that makes me feel cheated.

“I want people to be made aware of this. It seems like the council is attempting to rob people any which way possible.

“They also say that if you appeal the decision you could be fined thousands of pounds so that isn’t really an option for your average motorist.

“From my point of view this act smells of desperation on the council’s part.”

Stoke-on-Trent City Council yesterday defended its policy of dishing out penalty notices for minor infringements.

A spokesman for the authority said: “It’s essential that bus stops are kept clear from obstructions or parked cars.

“This is so buses can park parallel to the kerb and allow passengers, for example those who are disabled or have pushchairs, to get on and off safely without being forced to go in the road.

“Keeping bus stops clear also helps to keep traffic flowing in the city and reduces congestion.

“On the face of it this may seem like a relatively short period of time to receive a fine.

“However, if everyone did this for a few seconds or a couple of minutes bus stops would frequently be obstructed.

“Anyone who parks or stops for any time in a bus stop runs the risk of receiving a penalty charge notice.”

* Latest figures show Stoke-on-Trent City Council has handed out 128,415 fines in the last five years.

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