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Mum Fined £70 After Stopping Car For Just '30 Seconds' Outside School

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Mum Fined £70 After Stopping Car For Just '30 Seconds' Outside School

A mum-of-four has vowed to battle a fine she received for pulling in outside of a school to let oncoming cars through.

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Katie Pender-Eccleston was taking two of her children and some friends to an after-school gymnastics class at Castle Hill, Ebbsfleet when she paused near The Sun pub along Swanscombe Street in Swanscombe, Kent.

She says she did so to let a stream of cars pass, stopping temporarily on the zig zag lines opposite a primary school, but was horrified to be sent a £70 fine in the post by the authorities.

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In a clip sent to Katie and her partner Alan, the silver Ford that the former is driving can be seen drawing to a stop towards the front of the zig-zag lines opposite Manor Community Primary School.

It then edges forward past the markings as it lets a single vehicle through, before waiting just under 30 seconds after two cars further ahead pulled in to let a stream of traffic pass on the narrow street.

Credit: Katie Pender-Eccleston
Credit: Katie Pender-Eccleston

On reviewing the evidence, Alan feels that the fine was unfairly warranted. He said: "No one gets out the car. The picture, the actual photo the council sent, you can clearly see she is not parked.

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"You can only allow two cars to pull in ahead where they are waiting for the other cars.

"If she was to go forward she would have blocked the road; no way would they have been able to go anywhere. It is just a nightmare up there."

The dad-of-four, who works as a heating engineer, has appealed the charge.

The route, according to Alan, is one his wife takes regularly after picking up her kids from a different school and walking them home.

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She travels that way by car to go to an after-school class with friends, and the route is fraught with traffic.

Alan said: "I drive the other way but it's like this through the whole of Swanscombe - there are only three to four roads in and out.

"If the clip was 15 seconds longer you would have seen the context of where she drove up to let the traffic through.

"I find it ridiculous - she must have been waiting for 15 to 20 seconds before they have zoomed in to take the number plate."

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He added: "That is not right and I'm not prepared to pay the fine for that. How many other people have got this £70 fine?"

Credit: Katie Pender-Eccleston
Credit: Katie Pender-Eccleston

The cameras were only set live in the area in June, but in September caught out 74 motorists for various breaches - unsurprisingly meaning that they've received a mixed reaction in the area.

Swanscombe councillor Emma Ben Moussa, whose own son attends Manor Primary, thinks the cameras are necessary to keep school children safe, following a spate of near-misses.

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The Labour councillor explained the zig-zag lines were there to protect people but did also say that road layout changes were needed to support this.

She said: "This is a problem I have tried to raise with Kent County Council lots of times.

"The road either needs to be made one way or widened, because it is just impassable."

Dartford Council said it would be inappropriate to comment with an appeal underway when approached by LADbible.

Featured Image Credit: Katie Pender-Eccleston

Simon Catling
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