Parking fine angers mum after broken machine in Grantham car park swallows money

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A MUM is annoyed at getting a parking fine after a council ticket machine swallowed her money.

Sarah Sadler said that she has since discovered that the machine in the Guildhall Street Car Park, off Greenwood’s Row, Grantham, is notorious for being out of order, yet there was nothing to direct her to the other machine.

On Tuesday morning she put three pounds into the pay and display parking machine before realising that it was not going to dispense a ticket.

She said: “Everybody I’ve spoken to says people always put in money in that machine and lose it. But there is no out of order sign. The council must be making money out of it.”

Mrs Sadler, who lives in Billingborough, then used the other machine, which she had not initially noticed.

But she only had one pound left, leaving her with an hour for her three children to have their optician appointments.

She said: “I went over my time and I’ve got a parking ticket.

“I’m not very impressed. I put four pounds in the machines but I’ve got no proof. You can’t leave three kids in town and go and find more change.”

After returning to her car and finding the parking fine, she put a note on the machine to explain to other drivers that it was out of order. But it was later taken down.

She said: “I’m really annoyed. If I have to pay the £30 fine that’s fine, I appreciate I went over the time, but it’s just that everybody I speak to is saying the machine is always out of use.

“Even if I hadn’t got a ticket I would still want to know why the machine is left in place. I’ve spoken to at least seven or eight people and they all say the same.”

Mrs Sadler was advised by a passer-by to put a note in her car windscreen explaining that she had paid but she pointed out anybody, who had not paid, could do the same.

She added: “It’s stopping people putting money in it because it’s always out of order.

“But to be fair to the council if they don’t know about the ticket machine being broken they are not going to fix it.”

The parking attendant, who later switched the machine off to stop others losing their money, advised Mrs Sadler to direct her concerns to South Kesteven District Council. She is in the process of putting her complaint in writing.

Property Development Manager at the council Neil Cucksey said: “We will review this individual case and if this reveals there was a genuine attempt to pay and a fault with the ‘pay and display’ machine we will of course quash the parking ticket and look at refunding the money lost in the machine.”