The founder of a Falmouth charity has been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after being hit with parking fines for using the loading bays outside her town centre shop.

Jeanette Preston, founder of the Pants Cancer charity, has collected £796 in fines for parking in the spaces opposite two of her outlets in Webber Street, and says she believes she has been victimised and traffic wardens should be more willing to use discretion.

She said: “The first time I was ticketed, I told the male traffic warden ‘I’m a business, I should be allowed to unload. I’m a business woman, I’m entitled to park here’, and he said ‘no you can’t.’Founder opf Pants

“A charity is a business. He was either being ageist or sexist, and can’t accept me as a business woman. He actually put the ticket on the car in front of me.”

Jeanette said another time she was fined while unloading outside her shop for going just one minute over the five minute unloading limit, and the warden stood by the car timing her.

She said: “I can’t move it any quicker. I’ve got two shops, I should have ten minutes, not five.

“[The traffic warden] said ‘it’s six minutes now’ and put a ticket on.”

She added: “Someone said you have got to prove you’re loading and unloading, so leave the boot open.

“But if I leave the boot open it would be a free for all.”

Jeanette at first said she was willing to fight the fines, and even go to prison for it, but that she received a notice warning that if she did not pay her property could be forfeited.

As she was told this at a time when her husband was ill, she worried about the stress that it would put on him, and decided she would have to pay instead.

She said: “I’ve paid up, it’s come out of my pension, I’ve paid the fine as a pensioner.
“Somebody suggested putting a collection box for the fine in the shop.

“A lot of people in Falmouth have been supporting me, because of the charity and because I’m a cancer survivor.”

A Cornwall Council spokesperson said: “The council is unable to comment on individual cases. However loading bays are for the use of all vehicles delivering or collecting goods from all the local businesses and if an individual leaves their vehicles there for longer than the designated time it creates problems for people or companies delivering to other local businesses and members of the public who are trying to pick up goods.

“Civil parking enforcement officers are required to enforce the parking restrictions that are in place and only take enforcement action against those that contravene them.

“Members of the public have the opportunity to make formal representations against the penalty charge notice which was issued by the civil parking enforcement officer. If they are not satisfied with the decision they can take the case to independent adjudication at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.”