MOTORISTS are in line for parking ticket refunds after a council bungle saw them slapped with fines despite buying pay-and-display tickets.
A mystery yellow line recently appeared along the width of a parking bay on Randolph Place, causing confusion – and expense – to drivers.
Staff and patients at the nearby Edinburgh Dental Studio have been among those who have fallen foul of the new markings, which are directly in front of a pay-and-display parking meter.
Dentist Graeme Smart was left baffled by the move on the busy West End street, and called on the local authority to resolve the issue.
He said that, in some cases, drivers were unable to see the yellow lines and paid at the meter – only to return to find a parking ticket on their windscreen.
Parking is always a frustration in the area. It’s been an increased inconvenience.Graeme Smart
He issued a warning on the studio’s social media sites, which said: “When visiting the practice beware the parking space that isn’t a parking space. We’re campaigning to get Edinburgh Council to do something about this – numerous innocent parkers are getting caught out by this on a daily basis.”
It has now emerged that the yellow line was painted on by council workers to reserve the space for a large street bin, which will be put in place this week.
Drivers who were fined are being invited to appeal their £30 standard tickets.
Mr Smart realised something wasn’t right last week, when he parked up in the space and paid for four hours of parking via the Ringo app.
But passing workmen warned him that they had seen several people getting tickets while parked in the bay.
Mr Smart, who has been based at the practice since March 2010, told the News: “I certainly didn’t notice it before. We were used to there being a row of pay-for spaces and a row of permit spaces, so I’m not sure when exactly this would have been implemented.
“The first space tended to be a work van, so you’d tend to slot into the second space. I had just flushed £10 away and couldn’t do anything.”
He said he had feared the move was a “sneaky” way of making money from motorists, as no sign had been put up to explain the change in circumstances. “Parking is always a frustration in the area,” he added. “It’s just been an increased inconvenience.”
A council spokeswoman said: “This space has been set aside to allow the installation of a new communal waste bin.
“Drivers can appeal any parking tickets they feel were unfairly or incorrectly issued by following the appeal procedures as laid out on the back of the parking ticket or by visiting the council website.”