PARKING: Tourists are penalised

Congratulations to your local authority on implementing the disc parking scheme in your towns, which should encourage more people to visit.

I am from the north of Scotland and for the last five years have holidayed in Northumberland for a number of reasons, not least the standard of property and scenery.

Between July 11 and 18 I visited again. One particular day I visited Morpeth and tried to purchase a parking disc from a machine, which was empty.

However, my stay was short and, thereafter, I went to Alnwick.

I parked up in Bondgate and went to the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) to purchase a disc. It must have been about 4.35pm.

I was in a queue and had to wait about ten minutes to get served.

When I returned to my vehicle I had received a parking ticket for non display of a disc, having parked for 12 minutes.

I returned to the TIC and was advised to appeal. I have done so, but now have been asked to produce the disc I purchased.

This is not a great problem, only that I left it in the accommodation in order that other holidaymakers could make use of it.

I now have to contact the owner of the property to ask him to photograph and scan the disc. I also put an entry in his guest book to the effect of utilisation of the parking disc. I have to ask him to photograph and send this also.

I am a law-abiding, 53-year-old professional, who visited your area with my family and dog and was parked for 12 minutes without a disc whilst I waited to purchase one, and I am being made to jump through hoops to avoid paying a fine of £25.

Come on Northumberland County Council, build on your good work regarding parking and make a distinction between those that are happy to pay to park in your towns and those that are not. Do not penalise the tourist for taking 12 minutes to purchase a parking disc.

Douglas Mackenzie

By email