Confused drivers given parking fines after council makes grammatical error on sign

Bungling council workers have been slammed for erecting no parking signs with a vital full stop missing (Picture: SWNS)
Bungling council workers have been slammed for erecting no parking signs with a vital full stop missing (Picture: SWNS)

A council has been slammed for putting up no parking signs with an important full stop missing which has led to drivers being fined. 

Confused motorists were left scratching their heads when signs appeared in Ludlow, Shropshire, reading: "No Parking Enforcement In Operation."

Residents living in the market town initially took the notice to mean they were allowed to use the car park in Castle Square.

But the poorly punctuated sign was intended to inform motorists there was actually no parking and enforcement in effect under coronavirus measures.

Castle Square in Ludlow, Shropshire (Picture: SWNS)
Castle Square in Ludlow, Shropshire (Picture: SWNS)

As a result, fines have been given out to people who have wrongly interpreted the warning - despite it being a grammatical error.

Local resident Angela Rennie, 39, a mum-of-three, said she had read the sign to mean parking restrictions had been relaxed during the pandemic.

She said: "I've actually parked there, but luckily I wasn't fined. If I had been though, I would have fought it all the way.

"As it stands, that sign means you can park there surely.

"It's their error and it just shows how a simple full stop can completely change the meaning of a message.

"You've got to laugh really, but I bet those who have been fined aren't joking about it. Hopefully they won't have to pay."

Student Paul Graney, 20, from Ludlow, added: "It's extremely misleading and shows how important punctuation is. It's quite farcical to be honest, they need to sort it out."

Drivers have been told to appeal their fines (Picture: SWNS)
Drivers have been told to appeal their fines (Picture: SWNS)

Liberal Democrat Councillor Andy Boddington, who represents Ludlow North, has urged anyone who got parking tickets to challenge them.

The Tory-run Shropshire Council said a full-stop had now been included on the existing notice and corrected signs will also be erected.

Steve Davenport, a council cabinet member for highways and transport, has apologised for the mistake.

He said: “This was an honest mistake and we apologise for any confusion caused.

“The signs in question were intended to read, ‘NO PARKING. ENFORCEMENT IN OPERATION’ but the full stop had been accidentally omitted.

“Once the error was spotted the signs were corrected and have been replaced.”

Davenport said anyone who feels they have been confused by the signs and have received a Penalty Charge Notice is entitled to follow the appeals process.

But he added: “It should be noted that all who had parked in this area had parked in a pedestrian area, which is not permitted, and is also irresponsible given the current social distancing guidelines.”

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