A HEREFORDSHIRE resident says he was left fuming after finding out he had to pay a parking ticket after waiting more than four months for a reply to his appeal.

John Brown, 84, of Credenhill, was slapped with a £35 penalty charge notice after parking on a loading bay in Hereford on August 20, 2018.

He appealed to Herefordshire Council to overturn the parking ticket on the same day and had to wait for its outcome until January 10, this year – it had taken so long he thought he had won his case.

“As I hadn’t heard anything from them, I thought I won my appeal,” he said.

“I think it’s diabolical that it takes such a long time for them to get back to you.

“After so many months waiting, I thought I had been let off. It really hit me.”

Mr Brown, who is disabled and at times needs the support of two walking sticks, said he thought he had parked in a disabled bay on St Peter’s Square outside Tanners Wine Merchants and Shippers.

But he had in fact parked on the loading bay next to it and had not seen the sign.

“I couldn’t see the sign facing the road because it was behind a white van,” he said.

“The van covered the top of the sign which you could not see from the kerb. I think those sort of signs should be double sided so that you can see from both the road and the kerb.”

The council said to Mr Brown that they would still accept the discounted fee of £35, providing it was paid within a fortnight.

Mr Brown says he has sent them cheque to pay for his fine.

A Herefordshire Council spokesperson confirmed that there has been a delay of several months in responding to parking charge enquiries.

He said: “There is currently a backlog of correspondence relating to Penalty Charge Notices due to a staff shortage, and certain responses have taken several months to process.

“This particular case was affected by the backlog and an apology for the delay was included in our response.

“We apologise for any inconvenience and would like to assure people that the situation is improving and the council is exploring options to meet this short term demand on the service.”