An over-zealous parking warden piled misery on a shopkeeper by slapping a £70 ticket on his car as he tried to clear snow from his parking bay.
Derek Rickard made an effort to get to his Rhythm and Booze shop, in Main Street, Garforth, early to clear several inches of snow gathered on his parking space outside the store as Leeds was hit with the worst conditions of the winter so far.
The 56-year-old had parked just yards away so he could shift the snow to make sure workers could deliver the day’s stock through the space before turning to see a warden, who admitted seeing him shovelling away, ticket his car minutes later.
He even claims that the parking warden told him that the fine was likely to be quashed if he complained about it to the Leeds City Council.
Mr Rickard, who lives in Belle Isle, said: “When I look around, there he is, it’s like he’s haunting me – I couldn’t believe it.
“It’s ruthless. His own words were ‘I saw you there shovelling snow’, he could have said ‘Excuse me sir is this your car?’ As I was 15ft away from where he was.”
The heavy snowfall saw more than 600 West Yorkshire schools closed, flights grounded, rail and roads hit with delays and commuters slipping and sliding their way to work - with the big freeze set to continue.
Waves of snowfall blanketed the city, forcing many to seek snow-disrupted public transport or sit through slow-moving traffic on the region’s dangerously icy roads.
Met Office amber weather warnings encouraged Mr Rickard to arrive at work half an hour early to make sure the store opened at 9.30am, but he feared the snow in the parking bay, which is used to take deliveries, could be a danger to staff moving pallets of stock later in the day.
Mr Rickard added: “Everybody was late except the traffic warden.
“It’s annoyed me really because I’m trying my best to protect my employees.”
He said his Volkswagen Passat was issued the ticket on Marshall Street, which normally requires a residents’ parking permit, yesterday just after 9.30am.
Mr Rickard plans to appeal and complain about the ticket.
The parking ticket costs £35 if paid within the first 14 days of receipt or £70 if paid after 14 days but within 28 days.
A council spokeswoman said: “Once the ticket is processed and if and when an appeal is received, we’ll consider it.”