'I'm not paying unfair Purley parking fine'
COUNCIL parking chiefs have performed a U-turn after a carpenter threatened to take them to court.
John Meliniotis had pledged to "fight tooth and nail", over the Purley High Street tickets which had accumulated a cost of nearly £400 after the council sent them to the wrong address.
Mr Meliniotis first heard of the fines when a summons from a court in Northampton landed on his doormat last month, after the case was escalated to the courts.
Bemused, the 51-year-old, of South Croydon, phoned the council only to be told he owed money for the tickets, issued in July.
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But the council had been sending the fines to 119a Avondale Road as opposed to 96, where Mr Meliniotis lives.
A perceptive postman noticed the post was going to the wrong address last month and delivered the latest letter to the correct one.
Without being given the two-week window to pay, the cost of each ticket has now soared from £55 to around £190 each, with the cost of escalating the matter added.
To add insult to injury, the tickets were issued for mounting the pavement when Mr Meliniotis parked his van outside Blockbuster, where there is no clear divide between the roadside and kerb. The incidents were captured by the on-street camera.
Mr Meliniotis said: "If the first ticket had gone to the right address I wouldn't have parked there the second time around.
"I'm not letting it drop. I don't see why the council should get away with it. Not only did they get the address wrong, but there is no clear kerb outside Blockbuster to show where the pavement is.
"Croydon Council knew what they were doing, and knew they would get easy revenue from that area of the High Street with that camera pointed there the whole time."
Mr Meliniotis claims the council told him the address blunder was the DVLA's fault. However, the DVLA got his address right when notifying him of his road tax renewal, he added.
A council spokesman said: "Three notices were sent to the address confirmed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority. The matter has not been referred to the council's bailiffs.
"The penalty charge notices were registered with Northampton County Court prior to issuing the third, and final, statutory notice. This is purely an administrative process and the keeper has not been issued with any court summons, nor will he be required to attend a court hearing.
"Under the circumstances, the keeper's correct address has been logged on the council's system. The PCNs will be reissued, allowing the keeper the opportunity either to pay the reduced amount of £55.00 on each, or make representations disputing the matter."
In October, the Advertiser reported how the AA branded Croydon Council's use of cameras to catch out motorists "unacceptable".
The Department for Transport dictates cameras should be used "only where enforcement is difficult or sensitive and civil enforcement officer (wardens) enforcement is not practical".