Kenny Elliot, 60, parked his car on Craigleith Road at 8.30am on Tuesday to attend a work event at the Western General Hospital.
He paid for a ticket for the next four hours from the nearest parking meter and thought no more about it. He was therefore “completely baffled” to come back to his car at midday to find he had been served with a £60 parking fine.
As there was no explanation for why he had been served the fine, Mr Elliot assumed the parking attendant hadn’t seen the ticket, even though it was clearly displayed in the passenger side window.
It was not until he found another parking attendant outside his place of work, Chalmers Dental Centre, that Mr Elliot found out the truth, which made him “baffled at first, and then livid”.
He had been charged the fine because he bought a ticket from the meter opposite his Renault Clio, and there is a different rate charged for each side of the road.
“I thought at first he was joking,” said Mr Elliot.
“There were no signs to say this. How on earth was I, or anyone for that matter, supposed to know?”
The south side of Craigleith Road, where Mr Elliot was parked, is charged at £2.30 an hour for up to four hours, while the opposite side, where he bought his ticket, costs £1.20 an hour up to four hours.
There are no signs to explain that the tariff is different on each side of the road, and signs on both sides say that parking charges are levied Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
The maximum stay on the south side is four hours, while on the north side cars can park for nine hours at a time.
“I looked around but couldn’t see any machines on my side of the road, the nearest one was just opposite and I simply bought a ticket from there,” said Mr Elliot.
“If it was well signed it would be my fault for not noticing, but it wasn’t,” he added.
“I consider this to be an absolute rip-off, and if it happened to me I would imagine it would happen to many other unsuspecting victims. The Council have probably made a killing from us.”
Mr Elliot has sent a letter of complaint about the ‘ludicrous’ fine, but has not yet received a response.
“I have no intention of paying the fine, and I want to warn other people about this ridiculous scenario,” he said.
Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener said: “There are variations in price and maximum stay times in different areas. Time plates stating hours of restriction and maximum stay times in parking bays also show an arrow pointing to what ticket machine vouchers should be bought from. We would encourage any driver who wishes to challenge a parking ticket to follow the standard appeals process, which can be found on our website.”