Susan Hatton refuses to pay parking fine for 'eight seconds' at bus stop

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionSusan Hatton said she pulled in to the bus stop for seconds to drop off her father

A woman who was given a £35 parking ticket for dropping off her 84-year-old father at a bus stop says her fine has risen to £695 as she refused to pay.

Susan Hatton, 61, says she was punished for stopping for "eight seconds" in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, in December 2011.

Bailiffs clamped her car on Tuesday and said she would have to pay £695 for its release and to cancel the fine.

Southend Borough Council said it would review the CCTV footage of the incident and how the penalty was issued.

Peter Geraghty, acting head of planning and transport, said: "We appreciate the anxiety situations like this can cause."

Mrs Hatton, who is adamant she will not pay the fee until ordered to do so by a tribunal, called the fine "totally unreasonable" and said the council was "supercilious".

"It was just eight seconds," she said. "I didn't get out of the car.

"It was at the back of a bus stop, which easily fits two buses, and there was no obstruction."

'Clamp stolen'

Mrs Hatton, who lives in Leigh-on-Sea, said timed footage of the incident showed her door was open for eight seconds while her father exited the car.

She said an appeal against the fine was rejected and in August she received a letter from a court in Northampton saying she had 21 days to pay £130.

Mrs Hatton then received a letter from bailiffs on Christmas Eve, saying she had seven days to pay the fine.

On Tuesday, she parked her car in Southend and returned to find the clamp.

"The clamper said they were having a low loader coming down from Kent and the car would be towed away," she said.

"I said if they're going to tow the car they can take me with it."

She claims she then waited in the car for four hours before going to a coffee shop.

"When I got back to the car the clamp had gone," she said. "I was quite cheerful and drove off. I thought the council had removed it."

But when she discussed the matter with the council she was told the clamp had been "fraudulently removed".

The bailiffs, Whyte and Co, refused to comment on the incident but said "clamps are broken on a daily basis" and that removals are reported to the police.

Essex Police said it was investigating the theft of a wheel clamp from a vehicle on Sutton Road, Southend, on Tuesday.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites