PROVIDED BY CHARLOTTE COX Manchester Evening News, 3 JAN 2017

More than 400 people were slapped with fines on Sunday – but council bosses say they will tear up fines as ‘goodwill gesture’

Council bosses will rip up parking tickets issued on New Year’s Day – after baffled motorists complained that they thought parking was free.

The M.E.N told on Monday how hundreds of visitors to the city centre found they had been ticketed after using pay and display bays on SundaY

Manchester council say that their parking attendants acted fairly and squarely – as New Year’s Day was not technically a bank holiday, which instead this year fell on Monday – and that normal Sunday parking charges still applied.

However, in a gesture of goodwill, council bosses say they will now waive the £70 penalties, except those given to drivers parking on double yellows.

It means they are sacrificing close to £28,000 revenue from nearly 400 drivers.

Coun Rosa Battle, executive member for environment, said: “We will be cancelling all parking tickets issued in the city centre on New Year’s Day, apart from those issued for parking on double yellow lines, as a goodwill gesture.

“While technically they were issued correctly as it was not a Bank Holiday, the New Year’s Bank Holiday being on Monday 2 January, we appreciate that this was potentially confusing and have absolutely no desire to penalise drivers acting in good faith or to deter them from visiting our thriving city centre.

“We will put a stop to all tickets which haven’t been paid already. Anyone who has not paid already need take no further action. If anybody has already paid, they can contact us to arrange a refund.”

There are charges for on-street parking in Manchester city centre from 8am to 8pm every day – except Bank Holidays.

It will be music to the ears of businessman Steve Bernstein, 57, from Heald Green, who had planned to appeal the fine he got on New Year’s Day after parking his Jaguar XF on King Street West.

He told the M.E.N: “I was parked on a loading bay opposite San Carlo restaurant. When I came back to it, every car on the road had been ticketed.

“I saw the warden go past and said she had been told by her bosses that it was a public holiday, not a bank holiday, and so normal parking rules applied.

“A lot of people will pay this but I intend to fight it. Drivers just seem to be targeted more and more and more. The restaurants and shops in the city centre will be really pigged off because this affects their trade.

“We have a tradition that we will come out on New Year’s Day, when the shops are lovely and quiet and there is free parking. To get fined on New Year’s Day is just taking the Mickey.”

 

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