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Residents on a street in Wokingham were surprised to find their cars had been lifted up while double yellow lines were painted on the road before being whacked with parking fines.
Wokingham Borough Council said that due to an ‘unfortunate coincidence’ parking enforcement officers were in the area the same day the lines were painted, meaning that unaware motorists were handed £70 fines without even knowing they were parked on double yellow lines.
Shirley Boyt, Labour councillor for Bulmershe and Whitegates in Wokingham, said residents were given no warning that it was about to happen.
The councillor says she was told in an email from the borough council’s highway team which said parking restriction cones would be put out on the road yesterday - however, she said this didn’t happen.
Moeen Ulhaq, 19, is one of the people who was fined.
He said: “I parked there last night and there were no signs warning they would be painting lines.
“I woke up about 10.30am and my Mum told me they were moving the cars and painting lines. They didn’t make much noise, I couldn’t hear them doing it.
“One by one, they were lifting each car and putting them back down. I got there and my ticket had been issued at 11.20am.”
Boyt said she contacted the council last week as she was concerned residents wouldn’t know the line painting was due to happen.
She said: “I offered to place letters on each car parked there.
“But the council said that would not be necessary as there would be cones.”
The council has since apologised and told anyone who was given a fine to appeal it so it can be cancelled.
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways at Wokingham Borough Council told LADbible: “We are sorry for this situation.
"This incident was caused by an unfortunate coincidence that our parking enforcement contractors happened to be in the area shortly after the double yellow lines had been painted.
"We have different contractors for painting the lines and for parking enforcement.
“For those people who received a parking fine and have not already challenged it, please contact us by emailing [email protected] and we will work with you to cancel it. We entirely accept they have been issued in error.
“We are sorry this happened and want to apologise to everyone who has been affected.
“Residents in Blackthorn Close had requested the double yellow lines and our contractors have been out previously to paint them but had been unable to because of parked cars.
"Cones were meant to be put out in advance to prevent cars parking on the area to be painted. We have been informed by our contractor today that on this occasion, they did not put the cones out.
“We will be taking this up with our contractor and reviewing our internal processes to ensure this does not happen again.
“We are very sorry that parking fines have been issued in this case.”