'I wasn't illegally parked on Purley High Street, I was reversing the wrong-way down one-way road'
SELF-EMPLOYED decorator Colin Ford admits it was not the best piece of driving in the world.
He had reversed his van against the flow of traffic down the one-way Purley High Street after changing his mind about the direction he was travelling.
The manoeuvre led to a £55 fine – not for going the wrong way but for being parked on the footway. The 57-year-old is adamant he was not "parked" as CCTV photographs show the reverse lights on his vehicle.
But Croydon Council strongly maintains it was right to issue the ticket, having reviewed the footage this week.
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Mr Ford, of Fernhurst Road, Addiscombe, said: "As if I would park my van like that.
"I was going to go left but then decided not to and I tried to get back on to the road.
"The cars were going by so I couldn't pull out straight away.
"I was dumbfounded, I knew I hadn't committed the offence. I go out of my way to park legally – I don't like to give them a chance."
Mr Ford, who has been driving since the age of 18, did pay the fine following the incident on October 15 just after 7.30pm.
He thought he might have inadvertently parked illegally somewhere in Purley.
Having been sent the still images from the incident though, it is a decision he deeply regrets.
He added: "Ideally, I just wish they would give me my money back.
"I just don't want it to happen to anybody else.
"It's not the best of driving but I certainly didn't commit an offence."
In a letter to the council, Mr Ford says he is even prepared to go to court.
A spokesman for Croydon Council said: "The council's penalty charge notice carries clear instructions as to how the PCN can be challenged if the motorist feels he's been unfairly penalised.
"In this instance, the motorist is to be commended for making prompt payment.
"Having reviewed the CCTV footage of the incident, we're convinced of the validity of the issuance of the PCN.
"The CCTV images clearly show that the vehicle was parked, with two wheels on the footway, for at least one minute.
"The matter is exacerbated by the fact that the motorist then reversed his car along High Street, a one-way street, against the flow of traffic."