Road outside Northampton General Hospital nets county council £330,000 in parking fines in five years

Cliftonville, off Billing Road, has seen over 9,000 motorists fined in the past five years.
Cliftonville, off Billing Road, has seen over 9,000 motorists fined in the past five years.

Over 9,000 cars have been hit with parking fines on a single street outside Northampton General Hospital in the past five years.

Thousands of motorists have been caught out by the single-yellow line markings in Cliftonville, off Billing Road, which is constant use by ambulances driving to and from A&E.

Paul Dunwell says the yellow lines in Cliftonville are not clear or legal.

Paul Dunwell says the yellow lines in Cliftonville are not clear or legal.

But an FOI by one driver, who has refused to pay a fine handed to him on a visit to NGH, has revealed the road has netted the county council over £330,000 in parking tickets since 2012.

Paul Dunwell, 61, from Bugbrooke, returned to his car after parking in Cliftonville in May to find a yellow ticket on his windscreen.

He blamed the ticket on the road's poorly painted yellow lines and filed an FOI request with the council to see who else had been fined like him.

He said: "If they do it there then they do it elsewhere in town. It's particularly mean outside of a hospital.

The spot Paul parked on in May. Would you say the yellow line here is clear?

The spot Paul parked on in May. Would you say the yellow line here is clear?

"They must know it's not properly marked. When I parked there I saw a long line of vehicles and no road markings."

But now Northamptonshire County Council has now revealed 9,056 other vehicles have been fined in Cliftonville in the past five years, earning the council roughly £330,000.

Around 6,500 of the fined motorists paid the ticket early at £35 each time, while nearly 1,200 paid the full £70 or over. Approximately 1,200 of the tickets were written-off or cancelled following appeals or new evidence.

Paul said: "I know councils are struggling nationwide but you're not supposed to fill holes in public finances with highway robbery.

"Not only should they repaint those lines, they should apologise and refund those people wrongly ticketed in Cliftonville.

"If they haven't legally fined me then I have a right to claw back recompense for my wasted time.

"I will bill the county council for administration fees if they waste any more of my time, and so should anybody else."

Northamptonshire County Council says the spot is 'clearly' signposted.

A spokesperson for Northamptonshire County Council said: “Cliftonville has very tight restrictions as it is close to the hospital and incorrect parking can cause problems with access for ambulances and buses.

“Single line markings are accompanied by signage, which clearly states what restrictions are in place. Guidance states that line markings must be sufficiently clear and in this instance we believe that is the case.

“Line markings are re-painted as part of the county’s routine maintenance programme, and the Cliftonville Road area is part of this scheme.

“There is an appeals process to follow if anyone disputes a decision on the issuing of a penalty charge notice.

“Ultimately this can be taken to a traffic penalty tribunal. Here independent adjudicators oversee appeals from across England and Wales.

“A parking adjudicator is an experienced lawyer and is independent of the council – their decision is final and both parties must adhere to the decision made. For more information about how to appeal to a parking adjudicator visit the county council's website.”