Anger as parking ticket slapped on van ‘breaking weight limit’ in town centre

A carpenter and lorry diver is angry about being fined for leaving what the council says an overweight vehicle in a town centre car park.

Marcus Lennon says his short wheelbase Vauxhall Vivaro van is well within the weight limit allowed – but officers at Swindon[1] Borough Council disagree.

The dispute is over how a van’s weight is calculated – and which weight should be used for ticketing purposes.

Mr Lennon, 31, who lives in Pinehurst, parked his car at the Wyvern Theatre[2] short stay car park in Islington Street on May 8.

He said: “I parked and I paid for a ticket and I came back with about 20 minutes left on the ticket.

“I came back and I found I’d been issued with a fine ticket – it said I’d broken Section 89 – the rules on the weight of the vehicle – the ticket said my van was overweight.”

Mr Lennon said he initially hadn’t seen there was any notice of a weight limit in the car park, but then did find one which said no vehicles over two tonnes, or 2,000 kilograms may be parked at the Wyvern.

And that’s where the problem lies.

Mr Lennon said: “The Vivaro is listed as having a revenue weight of 2.7 tonnes. But that’s the absolute maximum it can weigh and still be legal, if it weighs a gram over that it would not be legal to be driven on the road.

“The actual weight of the van is the mass in service, and that’s 1.8 tonnes. That’s the weight that the council should have taken notice of, and that’s well under the two tonne limit.”

Mass in service is defined as the kerb weight of a vehicle plus a 75kg notional weight of the driver. Mr Lennon’s registration documents show its mass in service as 1,845 kg – still 150kg under the weight limit as advertised for the Wyvern car park.

Mr Lennon said: “I disputed the charge, I explained about the mass in service but the people at the council wouldn’t have it. They said my van was overweight and they weren’t going to drop the fine.

“I’m really angry – I’m a qualified lorry driver so I know about the weights of vehicles. The idea that my van is anywhere near 2.7 tonnes when it’s in use and when it was parked at the Wyvern is ridiculous.”

The council is not able to comment on individual cases where it has issued a penalty charge notice.

References

  1. ^ Swindon (www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk)
  2. ^ Theatre (www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk)