'Car park' trap for the unwary

Car park? Carmen Wilson says the spot where she received a ticket looks like a park
Car park? Carmen Wilson says the spot where she received a ticket looks like a park

A Blenheim woman is thrilled she won't be fined for parking in a space which looked very much like a car park to her, but turned out not to be a car park at all.

Carmen Wilson parked her Ford hatchback into what she supposed was a car park between Top Town Cinemas and Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 in Blenheim before lunch on February 4.

She got back to her car to find a parking warden writing out an infringement notice for $40 that was to be paid within 28 days.

"I was quite angry," Ms Wilson said. "He said it's not a park because it didn't have lines, but it does."

The space next, to the Kinross St footpath, has only one white line and is smaller than other spaces in the carpark partly because a garden boundary protrudes into it. However, it does look like a parking spot as it is separated from the footpath by a raised concrete boundary and her car fitted into it with no problem, she said.

Marlborough Roads general manager Frank Porter told the Express last week that it was clear the space was not a car park, but changed his mind yesterday after taking another look.

Marlborough Roads will paint yellow lines to denote no parking in that space and in one other controversial space in the car park where people parked their cars in front of a gate, blocking the entrance, he said.

"People recently ticketed won't have to pay," Mr Porter said.

Vehicles which park in the spaces before the yellow lines are added will only be ticketed if the back of the vehicles exceeds the line. The painting should be done within the next month, he said.

Ms Wilson said she was "elated" she no longer had to pay the fine, although she was still annoyed about the hassle of being fined in the first place.

Before calling The Marlborough Express, she had written to Marlborough Roads contesting the infringement notice and received a letter back upholding the decision.

Ms Wilson said: "I've seen other cars parked in the same spot in the last week so it shows no one else knows either."

The Marlborough Express