Anger at ‘free’ parking fine in Sheffield

Elliot Huntley and the parking sign at the entrance to Millhouses Park car park, on Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield.
Elliot Huntley and the parking sign at the entrance to Millhouses Park car park, on Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield.
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Parking wardens left a family fuming after fining a grandad who had not realised pay-and-display charges applied – because a sign seemed to say a car park was free.

John Huntley, aged 62, had driven to Sheffield with his wife Mal to spend the day with son Elliot, his wife Laura and their three children, Charlie, 10, Lily, eight, and Ava, five, who all live in Woodseats.

The 'free' car park sign

The 'free' car park sign

The family went to Millhouses Park, and John, who works as an engineer, saw a road sign which showed the parking symbol and appeared to show the word ‘free’ as it gleamed in the sunlight.

The black lettering had been removed due to parking charges being introduced last year – but the word was still visible due to dirt and glue on the sign.

But when the family returned to John’s black Vauxhall Zafira, a ticket had been put on the windscreen ordering him to pay a £25 charge.

Elliot, whose dad lives in Gainsborough, said: “There were at least 20 other tickets on cars. My dad had never been to the car park before so didn’t realise there were charges but the warden would not waive the ticket. I felt let down by Sheffield – it was not a good advert for the city.”

Elliot Huntley and the parking sign at the entrance to Millhouses Park car park, on Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield.

Elliot Huntley and the parking sign at the entrance to Millhouses Park car park, on Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield.

A second complaint about ‘heavy-handed’ council parking fines has come from district nurse Dawn Thompson.

She was given a £25 penalty charge notice for parking on Cambridge Street in the city centre without a pay-and-display ticket when on-call.

She said: “I hadn’t paid at the machine as I display a ‘carers all areas’ badge that I was under the impression would allow parking. I also left a note of the exact address I was visiting in case they needed to check.

“I feel very angry that they will issue fines to medical staff and will not accept an apology.”

Sheffield Council is looking again into both cases to see whether the charges should stand.