A CITY chauffeur has been left stunned by council meanies after receiving a parking ticket at 4am in the morning.
Steve Notley, of Elite Chauffeur Services, had pulled up outside the Missoni Hotel on George IV Bridge at 4.03am exactly on November 8 looking to pick up a regular Dutch client ahead of an early morning Amsterdam flight.
However within 60 seconds of stepping out of his vehicle and entering the hotel, a traffic warden had emerged and slapped a £30 fine on his windscreen before disappearing again into the night.
The 45-year old, from Corstorphine, admits pulling his limousine into a taxi bay at the front of the hotel believing that the early hour would spare him a penalty notice.
However he failed to reckon on the council’s 24-hour a day traffic wardens – employed by private firm NSL.
He said: “I really cannot believe it. There wasn’t a sinner to be seen on the street when I pulled up. Granted I did park on double yellow lines but they pounced on me within a minute.
“At first I thought some drunken passer by had taken if off another car before sticking it on mine. If it was during normal daytime hours I could understand or if I was blocking traffic but I was pulled up in a parking bay. He added: “We have trackers on all our cars and it shows that I pulled up outside the Missoni at 4.03am; the parking ticket shows that he began writing me up just one minute later at 4.04am so he must have been hiding in a doorway or something.
“You’d have thought they would cut people some slack at that time of the morning.”
Edinburgh City Council pays private firm NSL £5.9 million a year to provide its parking attendants and the firm operates 24 hours a day. Controlled parking zones (CPZs), where only permit holders are allowed to park, have specific hours of operation, beginning at 8.30am and running until 5.30pm or 6.30pm.
A council spokeswoman said: “Cars parked on double yellow lines may be subject to parking tickets, regardless of the time of day or night. A vehicle left unattended on double yellow lines is observed by parking attendants to establish whether it is being used for loading purposes.
If it is clear that this is not the case, a ticket is then issued. Inconsiderate parking can obstruct access to emergency vehicles and other road users so it is important that this in enforced.”
Earlier this year the News revealed that the Capital employs more parking wardens (121) than anywhere else in the UK outside London.
A total of 196,488 parking tickets were issued during 2011-12 and of those 43,706 were contested, with almost half scrapped.