Bus driver stunned after getting a parking ticket while at a bus stop in Harborough

The bizarre incident has now been labelled “insane” by outraged operator Centrebus Leicester

Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 2:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 2:08 pm
A bus driver was stunned to get a parking ticket at a bus stop in Market Harborough. Photo courtesy of HFM.

A bus driver was stunned to get a parking ticket at a bus stop in Market Harborough.

The £70 fixed penalty was slapped on his windscreen just minutes after he’d pulled up at the stop on The Square in the town centre.

The parking warden issued the ticket on Monday morning as the driver of the number 44 bus nipped in to the market hall to grab a bite to eat and a cuppa.

The bizarre incident has now been labelled “insane” by outraged operator Centrebus Leicester.

Furious Mick Rossiter, the company’s operations manager, said today: “It’s just insane, absolutely mad.

“I’ve been here over three years and this is the first time one of our buses has been hit with a parking ticket.

“The whole thing beggars belief.”

Mick said the Fleckney-bound driver halted at the bus stop in Market Harborough at 8.57am on Monday after leaving Foxton.

“He got off and popped into the market hall for a sandwich or a pasty and a drink.

“There was no one on the bus at the time.

“Our buses have stopped there for years without a problem,” said Mick.

“So you can imagine his shock when he got back to his bus to find he’d got a ticket plastered over the windscreen.

“He was gutted and still can’t believe it.

“Some of the local shopkeepers were so angry that they came out and had a go at the enforcement officer as they stuck up for our driver.

“They couldn’t believe what they’d just seen.”

He said the ticket shows the bus was observed at 9.03m and the ticket was issued at 9.03am.

“Our driver has got a ‘lay-over’ time there of 18 minutes.

“I wouldn’t care but we operate on behalf of Leicestershire County Council, which has given us this ridiculous ticket.

“To make it even worse the council produces our day to day timetable,” insisted Mick.

“They specifically build the ‘lay-over’ time into it.

“And then they fine us when we stop as we are supposed to – you couldn’t make it up!”

He said the same driver saw the same parking warden at the same stop just 48 hours later on Wednesday.

“The warden said he was OK because he was sitting on the bus.

“So did he get the ticket on Monday because he’d left the bus – or because he shouldn’t have been standing there and wasn’t allowed to stop?

“Make your minds up.

“I am now exchanging emails with the county council’s enforcement staff to try to get this nonsense sorted out,” said Mick.

“We are appealing against this ticket.

“This isn’t about the money.

“It’s a huge matter of principle – and we are going to fight it.”

The bus company’s operations boss saluted drivers, as well as all their staff, for battling through the Covid-19 emergency.

“Our drivers have been magnificent.

“It’s been a real nightmare for the lads because until very recently they didn’t even have a public toilet to go to while out on nine-hour shifts,” said Mick, based at Leicester.

“They have been doing long tiring days and it’s been very stressful during this long coronavirus crisis.

“And now they are getting parking tickets while doing their jobs to top it all off – it’s totally unacceptable.”

Cllr Trevor Pendleton, the county council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Our parking officers are trained to observe parking offences and establish whether there is a legitimate reason for issuing a parking penalty.

“In this instance, the bus was parked at a bus stop unattended and therefore a ticket was issued.

“Buses are permitted to stop in designated areas to allow passengers to board or exit the vehicle and there are designated bus stands available close by for buses not in service.”

He added: “Vehicle drivers/owners have the opportunity to appeal against penalties and all cases are considered on an individual basis.

“A written explanation is given when requests for cancellations are not accepted and drivers then have the option of appealing to an independent tribunal.”