A WOMAN received a £400 parking ticket for leaving her car on a stretch of unmarked road she has been using for 20 years.
Joyce Baker was fined £40 in March for parking on the apparently unrestricted Ruskin Avenue in Feltham where she lives but, following numerous appeals, bailiffs turned up at her door last week asking for £400.
She claims postal delays made it impossible to pay Hounslow Council the £167 final demand before they called in the debt collectors and her husband Frederick Whiteman was forced to sell a £2,000 gold chain for £690 just to pay them off.
Mrs Baker said: "The whole thing's ridiculous. There are no signs up saying no parking, no lines on the road, nothing. People have been parking here for 40 years and then one day a traffic warden comes along and says he doesn't like it.
"People are still parking there but I don't know anyone who had ever got a ticket before or has got one since. I think the council are just trying to make a bit of extra money out of innocent people."
Mrs Baker, who has lived in Ruskin Avenue since 1988, was notified that her final appeal against her ticket had failed by a letter dated October 9, which demanded £167.
She says she did not receive the letter until October 14 and, when she called to pay the next day, she was told it had already been passed to the bailiffs.
A spokesman for Hounslow Council said: "If people receive a penalty charge notice, they are free to appeal to us. If they are still unhappy with the decision, they can they appeal to the independent parking adjudicator.
"If the appeal fails, the payment is still due and we take all reasonable steps to recover the charge. If this goes on for some time without success a warrant will be issued and the account passed to bailiffs to collect."
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