Tory councillor drives his mum crazy

Councillor Lee Martin is in big trouble from his mum Susan Martin, after she recieved a fine for accidentally parking in the new residents parking zones near Sunderland Royal Hospital, as Lee himself instigated and organised the new system.

Councillor Lee Martin is in big trouble from his mum Susan Martin, after she recieved a fine for accidentally parking in the new residents parking zones near Sunderland Royal Hospital, as Lee himself instigated and organised the new system.

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COUNCILLOR Lee Martin has been driving his mum crazy after landing her with a parking ticket thanks to a new permit scheme he helped introduce.

Lee found himself in hot water with mum, Susan, after she received a penalty charge in the newly-established residents’ parking zone near Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The Barnes councillor had campaigned for years for new measures to tackle ongoing parking problems in the area, before they were finally introduced last month.

Susan, 56, who lives in Washington, was fined when she was attending a hospital appointment and parked in her usual spot on St Gabriel’s Avenue, unaware that it was in the boundaries of the new permit scheme.

She said: “The hospital car park was full so I parked where I normally go. I couldn’t see any yellow lines. I didn’t give it another thought.”

But when Susan returned to her car, she noticed a ticket on the windscreen.

She said: “I saw the ticket and called Lee and told him it was his fault. It was when I was driving out of the street I noticed the signs.”

Susan now must pay a £35 fine if she sends the money within two weeks or £70 if she pays after then. She said: “I can understand why it needs to be there but I thought it was for further down Chester Road. I would have rather walked for miles than pay that fine.”

The scheme has been introduced only in streets that had a majority voting in favour of it and allows for permit parking to be in force in a controlled zone from 10am to 11am and 2pm to 3pm daily, Monday to Friday.

Only vehicles displaying a valid parking permit, voucher or valid Blue Badge are entitled to park during these times and any found without this may be issued with a penalty charge notice.

Coun Martin said: “People have parked round there for so many decades so I do think it’s going to be a common thing.

“She’s hinting that I should pay for it as she says it’s all my fault. I got a telling off and a half but we will be clamping down heavily, that’s without exception.”

The scheme will be rolled out across other streets around the hospital if it is a success.

Coun Martin has been campaigning for the parking scheme since he was elected in 2004.

He said: “My mum knows, like everyone living in Barnes, that hospital parking is the bane of people’s lives. Since I first got elected it was a priority to bring it in.”

Twitter: @sunechohannah