A MOTORIST who blamed "confusing" signs for parking illegally in Huddersfield town centre has had his conviction quashed.
Huddersfield magistrates have ordered that fines totalling £45 against Roger Lewis should be withdrawn.
Mr Lewis, who lives at Thornton Lodge, is now considering seeking compensation from Kirklees Council after making a string of phone calls to deal with the matter.
He also wants the council's highways department to change the signs to make them consistent.
Mr Lewis had left his car overnight outside the Methodist Mission at Lord Street.
He parked in front of a sign warning that drivers had to pay and display between 8am and 6pm - and thought that no restrictions applied at other times.
But he failed to spot two other signs nearby warning drivers that between 10pm and 3am the parking spaces were only to be used by taxis.
Mr Lewis returned the next morning to find a £30 fixed penalty notice on his windscreen.
He told officials at the central parking ticket office at Bradford that he was contesting the fine - only to find out later that the ticket had been processed and he had been fined £15 on top of the £30 for not paying.
Mr Lewis said: "Thank God for sensible magistrates. They agreed that the signs were ambiguous and misleading.
"I now intend to pursue this with Kirklees. I would also be interested to know how many other people have been caught out by these signs."
Chris Platts, of Kirklees Council highways department, said the signs had been put up in line with Government guidelines and were considered "legally sound".
But he said: "If the magistrates have withdrawn the ticket they must have felt there were some grounds for confusion.
"I will look at the signs and if we can make them clearer to people, we will do."
Mr Platts said the signs had not been put up to deceive motorists.
Lord Street was one of several areas where various parking restrictions applied at different times of the day.
He said the council was trying to meet the needs of all road users including pedestrians, motorists and taxi operators in allocating parking spaces.
Related stories and messageboards