Double yellow lines painted underneath parked cars outside sheltered housing
A pensioner was handed a £70 parking ticket – within hours of double yellow lines mysteriously appearing beneath his car.
The 70-year-old – who parked his 4×4 in a bay outside sheltered accommodation in Park South – branded the ticket “discrimination”.
Don Connell, a resident at George Hall Court, Cavendish Square, since July 2017, has sworn not to pay the ticket. He said of the line painter: “He’s gone down on his hands and knees to come and do this. This is discrimination.”
Neighbour Colin Dent said he had also been given a £70 parking fine – leaving his car outside the block after picking up his granddaughter from school: “This is the first ticket I’ve ever had. I’m 82.”
The borough council said that they had restored double yellow lines that had been in place before the Cavendish Square development, after a resident complained about parking creating a “road safety hazard”.
But Maggie Hathaway-Mills, 65, vice-chairman of the Tenants Association for Sheltered Housing (TASH), said that residents had understood for more than two decades that the small section of road was a de-facto parking sport for George Hall Court.
She said: “People have been parking there since it opened 25-years-ago. That’s always been our allocated parking. Those five spaces are the only ones we’ve got.”
The new double yellow lines mean that residents in the 35-flat sheltered housing block face the prospect of having nowhere to park. Residents say that parking their cars in the nearby Cavendish Square car parks could invalidate their insurance.
Maggie said that there had been little communication from the council about the works. Workers in a borough council-branded truck had left signs up last week warning that works were going to take place.
When TASH quizzed the borough’s highways and sheltered housing departments about the plans, they assured the group that there were no moves to paint double yellow lines along the road. The signs were removed – but reappeared just days later.
On Monday, TASH met with Swindon Borough Council’s head of sheltered housing Mark Barnet – who again said there were no plans to paint the double yellow lines. Maggie said: “We got told it wasn’t going to happen. Less than 24 hours later they do this. It’s unbelievable. There have been no signs, no notices.”
Swindon Borough Council said that a Traffic Regulation Order had been in place for Royston Road – at least since the area was redeveloped in the 1990s.
A spokesman said: “Unfortunately, for some reason the yellow lines on this particular section of the road were removed a few years ago, we believe at some point during the Cavendish Square redevelopment.
“We recently received a complaint from a member of the public about cars being parked in Royston Road creating a road safety hazard. It was then after examining our records that it became apparent the yellow lines had not been replaced.
“Our workmen put out signs warning residents that the lines would be repainted two weeks before the start of the works but, these were repeatedly removed or vandalised with vehicles being parked in their place.”
“We appreciate the frustration of residents but the parking restrictions are in place to ensure road safety and to allow traffic to flow freely along Royston Road.”