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Dover mum's parking penalty is revoked after appeal

By Dover Express  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

not happy: Jill Daniels with the parking ticket she received in Castle Avenue

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A MUM-OF-FOUR slapped with a £30 fine for parking in front of a keep clear sign has had the penalty cancelled after she questioned whether it was legally enforceable.

Gill Daniels, 55, of Castle Avenue, was issued with the ticket after leaving her car on white lines at the side of Dover Grammar School for Girls. A sign asks motorists to keep the area clear between 8am and 4pm for disability pick-ups and emergency vehicles.

But Mrs Daniels, who works at the University of Kent and Canterbury, says the lines should be removed.

The grandma-of-eight said: "Outside the girls' grammar there are painted white lines and a Keep Clear notice which I regard as a courtesy sign. It takes up two parking bays.

"Three or four years ago they had a pupil with a disability and that's when the sign went up and emergency vehicles will park wherever they need to. I parked there at about 3.30pm and was keeping an eye out for another space. It had been there 10 minutes, 15 at the most, when I got the ticket.

"All the residents park there and then move and shunt around. Parking is a nightmare. It is ludicrous."

Mrs Daniels says the school should use space on its premises for teacher parking to free up the road for residents.

After doubting the legality of her parking ticket, Mrs Daniels visited the Whitfield council offices two weeks ago to query it. The penalty has now been cancelled.

She said: "Ideally we (residents) would like to see the white lines removed and Dover grammar utilise its own property for staff parking, and maybe see some land, like where there are boarded up flats off Salisbury Road, used for more parking."

Grammar head teacher Matthew Bartlett said he had sympathy for residents and for staff who have also been targeted by traffic wardens. But he said there is no room at the school property to incorporate parking.

He added: "I am sympathetic. Wardens have targeted the area and my staff have also suffered. I would love to have more parking in our grounds but we currently have six spaces and there is a physical lack of space at the school.

"There are 60 members of staff, some car-share so that takes it down to 40. I absolutely understand why this is frustrating to the neighbours and we want to be good neighbours. If there was something I could do I would love it. There is just a total lack of space."

Mr Bartlett said the school does not "police" the Keep Clear area.

A DDC spokesman said: "We are aware of this matter and the ticket has already been cancelled. We would stress that zig zag lines in front of schools are there to save lives and are enforceable by DDC officers in accordance with the signs.

"Equally, Keep Clear areas are only ever marked out for good reasons and, although not enforceable under parking regulations, they may be subject to enforcement under police powers where a traffic obstruction is caused.

"The Keep Clear area in Castle Avenue alongside the Girls' Grammar School was installed with the consent of KCC to help disabled access to the school, and to keep access clear for emergency services."

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