'Wrights pie cost me £35'
FATHER-OF-THREE David Martin was hit with a £35 fine after leaving his car for just 57 seconds – to buy a pie.
The 63-year-old's car was snapped by the council's 'spy vehicle' on double yellow lines in Tunstall's Tower Square while he was out buying his dinner.
Mr Martin, of Castle Road, Mow Cop, has been making the weekly trip to the town's Wrights Pies branch for five years but has never been issued with a fixed penalty notice before.
He said: "I went to Wrights at about 11.30am to try and beat the lunch time rush. There wasn't a queue so I was served straight away. I was in and out in less than a minute.
GET READY FOR SUMMER WITH A GOLDEN SPRAY TAN .
WHETHER YOU WANT A NATURAL GLOW OR A DEEP BRONZE, COME AND GET YOUR TAN AT KEIDO HAIR AND BEAUTY.
£17 OR 2 FOR £25.50
Terms: QUOTE SPRAY TAN WEB OFFER WHEN BOOKING IN
Contact: 01782 917918
Valid until: Saturday, August 31 2013
"I have been pulling up outside the shop for years and there has never been a problem before, but they were the most expensive pies I have ever bought."
Stoke-on-Trent City Council's enforcement car clocked Mr Martin pulling up outside the store at 11.27:34 and then leave at 11.28:31.
Mr Martin, who works at Longport-based DeSeM Lifts, paid the £70 fine within 14 days to reduce the penalty to £35.
He said: "I have seen that car loads of times before. It always circulates around Tower Square because it knows cars around there are easy targets.
"If it was a traffic warden who gave me the parking ticket I am sure they could have used their discretionary powers and just given me a warning.
"I won't go to Tunstall anymore because it is not worth the risk of getting another fine."
The Sentinel reported last month how 688 motorists were caught parking illegally in Tower Square in the last 18 months.
Delivery driver Andrew Talbot claims he had only stopped in the town for about 30 seconds while dropping off his son at the opticians when he was hit with a £35 fine.
Mr Talbot, aged 47, of Chell Green Avenue, Tunstall, said: "My son has Asperger's Syndrome and I am teaching him to do things for himself, so I was just sat outside watching him, to make sure he was okay, when I saw the van going round me.
"I drove off again and came back around. I must have stopped for about 30 seconds when I picked up my son and I got a fine."
Councillor Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for transportation, said: "The car is used to enforce parking restrictions. It is clearly marked and is there to deter motorists from parking or driving in areas which cause road safety issues, congestion, hazards and obstructions for other road users."