A LEOMINSTER woman has successfully fought a parking fine she was given as she nipped into a nearby shop for change to pay the fee – but the council has stood by its decision.

Dorothy Evans, known as Dot, had parked up in the Dishley Street car park, owned and run by Herefordshire Council, on August 23, but found she did not have £1 to pay the fee.

As she quickly went into the Spar shop to change a £10 note, she came back out to find a “predatory” parking warden had already slapped a £25 fine on her windscreen, with the fine rising the longer it takes a driver to pay.

It then took six months to fight the charge, with her appeal going before an independent tribunal who decided Mrs Evans, aged 76, of South Street, should be let off.

“I found it extremely stressful,” Mrs Evans said.

“In 55 years of driving I’ve never had a parking ticket, I’ve always paid my way. I was in South Africa, I was born there, you have to pay as well, and I’ve always paid my way.

“I always pay a little bit extra if I might be a bit longer, I’ve never had a parking ticket and I was so shocked it was issued so quickly.”

Mrs Evans thinks there should be a 10-minute grace period for people using the shop, or dedicated 'short stay' bays which are free.

A Herefordshire Council spokesperson said its aim was to promote the use of active and more sustainable modes of transport wherever possible, and was not looking to encourage greater level of short term parking.

A spokesperson said any shop that wishes to offer free parking can consider offering a partial refund system to customers: “In this instance, a motorist parked in a pay and display car park, purchased goods and left the car park without paying for parking.

“Terms and conditions for parking are clearly signposted in every council car park, and electronic payment options are available that do not involve cash.”

They said anybody using a council car park should familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions before leaving.