A motorist has hit out at ‘over-zealous’ parking wardens who fined him after his ticket blew upside down.
Dave Swanton, 54, says he was on Flat Iron car park in Chorley on Saturday when he was handed a £25 fine by an officer for Chorley Council.
Mr Swanton, who does a regular spot on BBC Radio Lancashire and also works for rugby team Sale Sharks, says he bought a valid ticket but was caught out after the wind blew his ticket the wrong side up.
Mr Swanton, from Whittle-le-Woods, said: “I got into town on Saturday morning to do some shopping with my wife Carole and I paid £1 and bought a ticket.
“I was away from my car for less than 19 minutes and when I came back there was a ticket right in the middle of the windscreen and the warden was round the back of my car taking photos.
“I pointed at the ticket which was on my dashboard but had obviously blown over when I had shut the door.”
Mr Swanton, who is now challenging the fine, says wardens have put him off travelling to the town.
He said: “It’s a disgrace. We’re not talking about the Trafford Centre here. Chorley needs as many shoppers as it can get.
“I’m not blaming the council, I’m blaming the officer who should have shown a little bit of discretion. When I got back in the car I said to my wife I wasn’t spending another penny in town.
“At the end of the day I made a mistake because I didn’t check to see if it was still the right way up, but who does? It’s the first time I’ve ever been given a parking ticket and I didn’t deserve it because I had bought one.”
Coun Eric Bell, who is responsible for parking at Chorley Council, said: “We would always urge anyone who believes they’ve got a penalty notice unfairly to appeal it.
“Since we joined forces with the Legion Group the number of penalty notices has dropped as have the complaints made against parking attendants.
“The people who enforce the parking rules are much more friendly and welcoming to people visiting the town but they have a job to do in making sure that people park responsibly and follow the rules.”