A couple cannot park on a driveway as they have done for years without now risking a parking ticket.
Shirley and Fred Norman moved into Stafford Road in Ruislip Gardens in the early 1970s. Their house was originally council owned but under the right to buy scheme of the Thatcher era they soon bought it and paid just less than £900 for a cement driveway which ran from the road to their front garden.
Two houses to the left also have the driveway, which does not connect directly to the houses’ front garden and as such is considered an ‘access driveway’ by Hillingdon Council, on which parking is banned.
Despite this, the Normans have been parking there for at least 30 years without trouble, and were never made aware that they were doing anything wrong.
Two months ago their neighbour was handed a parking ticket when parked on his driveway two doors down. The warden was about to give one to Mr Norman, 78, and said he had begun to issue tickets in the road because of a ‘new law’.
Mrs Norman, 79, asked: “I would just like to know why this has happened and why we weren’t given any notice of it until a parking warden was outside the house.
“Surely they would have put a letter through our door or put a notice in the paper?”
The couple often have to make trips to the hospital in the mornings and can just about fit their small, silver Kia Picanto in their front garden – but only if they leave their gate open, and Mr Norman has to pull away to give his wife room to get in the car.
Mrs Norman, who relies on a walking stick, said: “We can bring our car just about on to the drive but our front garden isn’t big enough really.
“Now I will walk all the way down to the car in the road and that is not easy for me,” she said.
The ‘new law’ claim was wrong, however, and it appears the Normans have simply been avoiding a ticket by chance all this time.
Jean Palmer, director of residents services at the council, said: “Vehicle crossovers are part of the footway and are designed for the sole purpose of allowing vehicles to cross footways or grass verges and park in off street parking areas, such as residential driveways.
“To maintain pedestrian and road safety, parking is not permitted on any part of the footway, however if a motorist feels that a parking ticket has been issued incorrectly then they may appeal to the council.
"We will review the ticket and any mitigating circumstances that they feel may apply.”