TRAFFIC wardens parked their car in a residents-only parking space while they handed out tickets - to motorists parking in a similar residents-only parking space.
The double standards have infuriated parents who were ticketed in St Clements Road, Whitley, as they picked up their children from nearby Woodfield Primary School. The picture of the wardens’ car was taken by angry reader John Fitzpatrick who says he has been left fuming by the traffic wardens, ‘do as I say, not as I do’ actions.
However, a spokesman for the council said today it was important to maintain effective enforcement around school sites which are potentially hazardous.
Mr Fitzpatrick said: “The wardens regularly turn up at school pick-up time to book parents.
Residents are mostly at work and there’s plenty of space and it causes no problems for the few minutes that this usually takes. I saw the wardens arrive about 3.15pm in an unmarked Fiat car.
“When I realised that they had parked in a resident’s bay without a permit I decided to take a picture with my phone to use as evidence.
“They waited for the parents to leave their cars and go to the primary school gates at Woodfield and then started issuing tickets for parking in the residents’ zone. Then I saw them drive away before they all returned. It seems one rule for one and one for another.
“I’m not sure if this is a private car or one officially issued for use by the wardens but I am sure that if this had been a marked car people would have driven away rather than risk a ticket.
Mr Fitzpatrick said that there were few legal parking facilities near Woodfield and added: “The council have now criminalised collecting kids from school, ignoring the voice of the taxpayer.
“Surely they could negotiate a 10 minute easement to allow parents to collect kids safely and take some pressure away from busy parents.
“I really don’t condone the behaviour of the few parents who park dangerously on junctions, bus stops and yellow lines but I have never once seen one of them get a ticket and they deserve them.”
Wigan Council’s Transport Manager Kevin Hargreaves said that the council frequently receives calls from members of the public saying that they do not do enough to enforce parking regulations outside schools.
He said they also receive a number of complaints from residents who live in such areas close to schools complaining that parents dropping their children off at school are using their parking bays without a permit.
He said: “The areas around our schools do have the potential to be hazardous, particularly when we have large numbers of people parking to drop children off and pick them up.
“It is therefore important that we maintain effective enforcement around our schools and we do not believe this should be relaxed purely for the convenience of parents.”