Stoke residents refuse to pay parking tickets on the street where they live
RESIDENTS are refusing to pay parking tickets they have been issued with for leaving their cars outside their homes.
Families in Water Street, Stoke, have been stunned to discover they are being booked for leaving their vehicles on paved areas at the back of their properties.
Some residents claim the sections of land, which lead up to their homes from a dropped kerb, are actually extensions of their driveways.
But the cars often encroach on the pavement and there are double yellow lines on both sides of the road and, as a result, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has issued the tickets.
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Housewife Lynn Colley says people have been forced to park outside their homes since a barrier was put up blocking access to five parking bays at the bottom of the street.
Lynn, aged 45, said: "The barrier just popped up one day. After it appeared we started getting parking tickets for using our driveways.
"They say it is obstructing a public footpath but we don't agree.
"When Stoke City are at home, it is absolutely jam packed in this street and nobody ever got fined."
Now Lynn has started a petition to call for the barrier, erected about 12 months ago, to be taken down.
She added: "I have been here for nine years and never had a problem until this barrier was put up."
On the Queen's Diamond Jubilee bank holiday, eight cars were booked on the street including a vehicle belonging to Lynn and husband Antony.
Recycling business owner Antony, aged 37, said: "I am refusing to pay to park outside my own house. It is just ridiculous.
"We have a seven seater car and a van for my business.
"We try to back them up as close to the fence as possible but they are large vehicles and need the extra room." As well as removing the barrier, residents want their parking fines refunded.
Neighbour Lakshmie Goonasinghe has been given two tickets in the last month.
The full-time student and housewife said: "We have no-where left to park.
"It cost me £70 in parking tickets and I tried to explain but there is nothing we can do.
"We can't just sell the car – we have three kids and have to do the school run as well as going shopping."
A council spokesman said that the barrier was in place as the parking bays are for the use of elderly residents in adjacent South Terrace and will not be removed.
He added that residents had the option of making representations to the council's highways department requesting that it looks at changing the on-street parking restrictions.