Lifeboat given parking ticket: can it be fair?

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Traffic warrden tickets the RooneysEamonn and James Clarke/Eamonn and James Clarke/EMPICS Entertainment

A Lifeboat crew were stunned when a lifeboat on its way to being decommissioned was left unattended in a car park for a few minutes, and was promptly slapped with a parking ticket.

So can this be fair, and is this the worst ticketing blunder of recent years?

The boat

The Lifeboat, called Douglas Paley, was on a car trailer in a car park, in Appledore, Devon. The crew had loaded the trailer and then remembered a forgotten piece of paperwork they required in order to decommission the boat.


The crew member left the boat in the car park while he dashed back for the paperwork. When he returned he found a £60 penalty charge waiting for him.

The council has subsequently cancelled the ticket, and Cllr Roger Johnson, lead member for the Torridge economy told The Sun newspaper: "The RNLI provide an invaluable service for residents and visitors."

But while this is clearly a shocking example of an over-enthusiastic jobsworth ticket warden who has taken his eye off the bigger picture, this is far from the only time a traffic warden has got carried away.

Five crazy tickets

1. Anthony Mottram, 51 of Wandsworth in London was given a parking ticket in January after he stopped to give first aid to a motorcyclist who was trapped under his bike in the middle of the road and unconscious.

2. Lambeth Council hit the headlines a few years back after ticketing the team who went to help the whale in the Thames.

3. As recalled by Barrie Segal, author of The Parking Ticket Awards, one highlight was when Robert McFarland rode his horse Charlie Boy into Skipton. He left the horse tied up, and when he returned he found the horse sporting a parking ticket - subsequently cancelled by North Yorkshire County Council.

4. Pet shop keeper Cliff Chamberlain from Eccles, Greater Manchester, was unloading his van outside his shop when he noticed a traffic warden showing an interest. He moved his van, and when he returned and refused to take the ticket being proffered, the warden slapped it on a rabbit hutch outside the shop.

5. Meanwhile, there has been outrage over a council which isn't handing out tickets. It emerged in January that Southend was introducing a new computer system that would prevent wardens from ever issuing a ticket to a town councillor parked in a public bay - regardless of how long the car was left there. It'll be up to the councillors to voluntarily pay for parking when they are not on official business.

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