Furious revellers hit with parking fines during WestFest have demanded to know why Travellers who set up an illicit camp on nearby public land were not subjected to the same rigour.
As we reported, hundreds of festival-goers received fines during Sunday’s extravaganza. They had parked just yards from the site of the recent Travellers’ camp.
Under-fire Dundee City Council will not reveal how many parking tickets were issued on Sunday but revellers have been told they do “have the right to appeal”.
The Courier understands as many as 200 tickets were placed on cars parked alongside Magdalen Green for thecharity event.
Motorists reacted furiously to thepenalty notices and have accused the council of double standards, with claims no tickets were issued when Travellers set up an illicit camp on public ground only a few hundred feet away at Riverside Drive.
West End councillor Richard McCready said: “I’m sure that kind of enforcement action was not taken against the Travellers.”
Travellers camped out at Riverside Drive for two weeks after receiving a notice to quit but there are claims their illegally parked cars were never issued with parking tickets.
Mr McCready said: “I wasdisappointed that cars parked near the Green were targeted by traffic wardens during the WestFest event.
“I recognise that there is a need for parking regulations but it seems wrong that people were targeted whilstattending a great community event.
“I have asked the council’s head of transportation for an explanation.”
There are concerns that wardensspecifically swooped on the area because of the festival.
Mr McCready continued: “It’s strange because Magdalen Green does have issues with parking the rest of the year and I have been working hard to drum up interest as the traffic wardens haven’t paid attention to the area.
“The cars were not an obstruction and clear precedent has been set in previous years.
“It looks like the council is simplytrying to maximise the money it makes from fines.”
Meanwhile, fellow West Endcouncillor Fraser Macpherson said: “I felt that the parking enforcement was inappropriate and the issue of parking was not raised at any meetings in the run-up to the festival.
“Parking enforcement of this kind is not very community-spirited, in my mind. This is a marvellous event and it is not remotely appropriate to do this sort of thing.”
Mr Macpherson described the affair as a “public relations disaster” for the council.
“I have asked the head of transport to speak to me about the issue as well as submitting a complaint,” he continued.“It’s a pity this had to overshadow such a good event.
“There were reports of cars parked on the streets unsafely, on corners and junctions, which were not ticketed, but cars parked at the Green were targeted and all ticketed.”What we askedDundee City Council declined to answer The Courier’s specific questions regarding the issue of penalty notices during WestFest.
We asked:How many tickets were issued on Sunday at theMadgalen Green area? Were traffic wardensspecifically targeting the area or is it part of their normal patrols? How many tickets were issued to Travellers camping on the landillegally during April?In response, we received thefollowing response from a council spokesperson:
“Anyone issued with a parking fixed penalty notice has the right to appeal and that is where theindividual circumstances of the case will be considered.
“Councillors have contacted the council’s head of transportation regarding Sunday’s WestFest event and he will be responding to them directly.”