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What yellow lines?

Nice bit of parking!
Nice bit of parking!

by Dan Bloomdbloom@thekmgroup.co.uk

Illegally parked lorries at Ashford’s Orbital Park have racked up £50,000 in unpaid fines during the last year.

More than 55 per cent of parking tickets issued between July 2009 and last month are still unpaid, a total of 813.

This is despite yellow lines being painted on the surrounding roads last July after a long-running argument between campaigners and Ashford Borough Council.

The council hires European bailiffs to collect the money from foreign lorries, but recovering fines can cost far more than what they can recoup.

And some European countries do not even agree to hand over details, among them France.

Most tickets given out at Orbital Park are for £70, which can be halved in return for swift payment.

ABC head of environmental services Paul Jackson said: “As the figures indicate, even though our contractors make very considerable efforts on the council’s behalf they are unsuccessful in pursuing many of these unpaid penalties.”

Margaret Pryke, 70, who led the original protests against illegal parking on the estate, said: “I’ve got to the point where I feel as though I’m knocking my head against a brick wall.”

“Since the double yellow lines were put in people have said it’s been better, but I just think the problem’s being shifted to the other side of the road.

“People come for the market and the boot fair on Sundays and they get ticketed while these lorries don’t have to pay. It’s not fair.”

The information was obtained by the Kentish Express under the Freedom of Information Act.

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