Yellow line fine mess for Sheffield council

Pensioner Fred Allender stands beside the freshly painted double yellow lines outside his Ecclesfield home.
Pensioner Fred Allender stands beside the freshly painted double yellow lines outside his Ecclesfield home.
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Bungling workmen left a gap when repainting double yellow lines on a Sheffield street – then ‘petty’ parking officials fined a pensioner for leaving his car in the space.

The few yards of tarmac on Yew Lane, Ecclesfield, missed out on the yellow paint treatment because 86-year-old Fred Allender’s Skoda was parked there when contractors carried out the work.

And, because staff never returned to fill the gap, great-grandad Fred continued to park there. But a year later the former steelworker came out of his home to discover a parking ticket on the windscreen of his red X-reg Felicia.

Officials accepted there were no double yellow lines but insisted parking restrictions could be enforced. The council has apologised and offered to reimburse OAP Fred for the £35 fine he paid – although the missing yellow lines have been repainted to fill the gap so nobody can park there.

The news comes as figures showed Sheffield Council made almost £2.5 million profit from parking services in 2011-12 – a 40 per cent increase on the previous year.

Fred, who lives at Eva Ratcliffe House sheltered complex on Yew Lane, said: “I was at home when the lines were being repainted and I would have moved the car if I’d known they needed to paint there.

“I continued to park in the space because it looked like I could.

“When I got the fine I paid it straight away at the post office, because I like to make sure bills are paid straight away.”

Fred did not appeal against the fine - but fellow Eva Ratcliffe House resident Irene Stennett, 87, was appalled and complained to The Star on his behalf.

She said: “I don’t think the way they treated Fred is fair at all – it’s so petty.

“Where are the council’s brains? Why did we have to have double yellows in the first place?

“And why give him a ticket when they didn’t come back and finish off the lines?”

Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council cabinet member for streetscene, said: “We’re sorry if anyone has been confused by the broken double yellow lines on Yew Lane.

“As soon as they were brought to my attention I instructed we get the lines reinstated.

“Staff have already been to Yew Lane and dealt with this swiftly to avoid any confusion.

“Sometimes lines can be broken after the road has been dug up or, in this case, a vehicle was parked over the lines when they were repainted about a year ago.

“Clearly we need to apply common sense in this case.

“That is why I’ve acted to refund Mr Allender, and made sure that other motorists do not suffer any further confusion by making sure the lines are clearly in place.”