Beating yellow peril

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A DRIVER has managed to overturn a £70 fine he was slapped with for parking his car on a double yellow line left over from last year’s Tall Ships Races.

Hartlepool man Richard Watts was unfairly hit with the parking ticket when he left his blue Vauxhall Astra car on the Coast Road, which runs alongside the back of his home in Dorchester Drive, in Hart Station.

The road had been daubed with yellow lines ahead of last August’s maritime extravaganza with Hartlepool Borough Council saying they would only be enforceable between August 6 and 10 with affected residents being sent letters advising them of the temporary measure.

But the road markings, along with markings on several other roads in the town, were introduced on a permanent basis and have remained in place after the event, as previously reported by the Mail.

Mr Watts, 43, appealed against the penalty notice and was relieved to receive a letter from council chiefs saying they had considered his case and had “cancelled the ticket on this occasion”.

Today unemployed Mr Watts urged anyone else unfairly hit with parking tickets to fight their corner.

He said: “I’m so relieved that the council has decided to see sense and take this fine off me because it was very unfair. Common sense has prevailed with the council for a change.

“I would say to other drivers to check that you can actually park somewhere because it seems council will do whatever it can to get money out of you.

“If you are hit with a ticket for parking on one of these Tall Ships Races yellow lines, then challenge it, and know your rights because like me you just might be successful.”

A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: “We can confirm that Mr Watts’ appeal against his parking penalty notice was successful.

“The council carefully considers all appeals and decided on this occasion to withdraw the penalty.

“However, we would like to point out that the double yellow lines on this stretch of Easington Road were installed on a permanent basis and it is therefore illegal to park on the marked restricted area.”