Motorist given parking ticket . . even though car had no wheels

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AS excuses for being let off a parking ticket go, it has to be one of the most impressive.

But having all four wheels stolen was not enough to prevent one unlucky Edinburgh motorist being slapped with a fine by the city's Enforcers.

The parking attendant ignored the motorist's hand-written plea and decided that not being able to move the vehicle was not a good enough reason to prevent a 60 fine.

The silver Toyota Yaris had been targeted by thieves as it sat on a single yellow line overnight on Viewforth, Bruntsfield.

Discovering the theft on Friday morning, the motorist left a note reading "Dear parking attendant. Someone has stolen my wheels. Insurance company is arranging for pick-up this afternoon. Please don't give me a ticket. Thank you."

Neighbour Mike Pegg, 65, said: "I couldn't believe what I was seeing when I looked at the windscreen.

"Fancy putting a parking ticket on a car which simply could not move. It's just not fair."

Mr Pegg has lived in the area for more than 30 years and said that it was rare for such thefts to take place.

He said: "The person probably went to go to work and discovered they had no wheels.

"I never saw it myself, but apparently two traffic wardens approached the car and were seen using walkie-talkies, as if they were wondering what to do.

"Someone then apparently came in a van and it was decided a ticket should be issued. They even took photographs of the car. What was the poor owner supposed to do?

"There is a joke that parking attendants aren't allowed to think for themselves. I just think this is rotten – the car owner is clearly in bad enough trouble without this."

The car seems to have been parked overnight opposite Boroughmuir High School, as resident parking bays were full.

A zone eight, 80-a-year permit was clearly displayed on the rear, off-side passenger window, with the begging letter sticking out of the plastic casing.

Green Party councillor Alison Johnstone, who represents Meadows and Morningside, called for common sense.

She said: "Firstly, I extend my sympathy to the car owners, not only for having the misfortune of having their wheels stolen, but in dealing with this.

"It's clearly the final straw to get a parking ticket through no fault of their own. The council do themselves no favours at all through such decisions. This is quite clearly a unique situation."

The car has now been removed from the street.

Edinburgh City Council's parking attendants are recruited and managed by National Car Parks (NCP).

A spokesman for the firm said they would now examine their own photo evidence from the scene to determine whether the ticket was issued correctly.

He added: "It is unlikely that we would ever issue a ticket in the circumstances described but we will look into the matter."

&#149 Were you the unlucky motorist? Contact the Evening News on 0131-620 8748.