We had no choice but to go into Stratford-upon-Avon town center the morning after we arrived in England. This was because our cases were still in transit, and Len needed some clothes. I had packed extra items in my carry-on because of past experiences.
We took 2 vehicles as my daughter, son-in-law, and the grandchildren came with us. We finally arrived at a huge parking lot and kept driving until we finally found 2 parking spots. My son-in-law went to the ticket machine and put money in. I went to do the same for our vehicle but he had already purchased our ticket for 2 pounds 40 pence ($4.80). I was helping my daughter with the girls so I handed the ticket to Len and asked him to put it in our hire car.
We went off and did a little shopping, had Sunday lunch, and walked past the river Avon and all the tourists. We headed back to the parking lot. My son-in-law said to follow his car so we could return to Walton Hall, our timeshare. While we were driving Len noticed an envelope on the windshield. When we stopped it was a Penalty Charge Notice known as a parking ticket. The Stratford-upon-Avon District Council issued the ticket.
I said to Len that there must have been a mistake and then I found the reason for it. In England the ticket comes out of the machine with a backing on it that is an advertisement. You peel off the back and the inside of the back is sticky. You then put the ticket you have purchased up to the inside of the windshield and stick it to it with the backing. Len had just laid the ticket on the dashboard and somehow it was turned over so the advertisement could only be seen. In the 4 photographs you will see the ticket with the date and time on it and the back of it.
Well, the ticket was for 60 pounds ($120) and if we paid it within 28 days it would be halved. It was a penalty charge notice (road traffic act 1991), section 66 and schedule 6). It gave the notice number, date of issue, time the vehicle was first seen and the time of issue, which was 5 minutes later. Then the vehicle’s license number and make. On the back of the penalty charge notice were the details on how to pay or how to represent yourself if you were objecting to it.
My daughter used to work for the Warwick Council before having the girls so she said that she would phone them on our behalf. She told them that we had the ticket in our possession and were objecting to the notice.
After the phone call we had to write a letter explaining what had happened. We had to enclose a copy of the parking ticket we had purchased in the parking lot and wait for 10 days. After that period we were able to phone them.
I am very pleased to say that they informed us that a letter had been sent to our address in America saying that on this occasion the fine would be suspended. When I got home the first thing I did was check for that letter amongst the mail.
I really hope if you are traveling to another country this will help you avoid a similar problem. After that experience we had to pay and display most days and I made sure that the ticket was stuck to the windshield. Now if they had parking meters we would have been fine.