Fines spoil Coffs Cup

COFFS Cup Day should be one of celebration but for a furious Bob Wicks and scores like him it will be one to forget.

Mr Wicks, a local businessman, is incensed over the fine he’ll get in the post for dropping off racegoers in Howard Street last Thursday.

As many as 30 drivers were caught by the city council’s parking officers – there at the request of the racing club and police – to enforce the temporary no stopping and no parking zones.

“How crook is it when they could have been there moving traffic and directing things instead,” Mr Wicks said.

“If the vibe I’m getting is correct it’s a bloody disgrace. People work their guts out to make the day a success and this happens.”

Mr Wicks said he let off his passengers in Howard Street about 1.30pm on Cup Day when he could go no further in the traffic queue.

That’s when a parking officer came from the footpath and pointed at the temporary no stopping signs.

“I said ‘sorry I didn’t see it’. I’ve gone to move on and then he jumped around in front of the car and stuck his hand up. He pulled out a notepad and said because I wouldn’t co-operate I would get a fine in the mail.

“I don’t care what the fine is, but what if you’ve got a poor single mother who can’t afford to pay it?

“If a whole heap of people end up with fines it’s taking the gloss off a great day.”

Coffs Harbour Taxis manager Kevin McKenzie will raise the issue at the council’s next traffic committee meeting.

“We had at least one cabbie who was booked for parking and letting passengers off in a no-standing zone,” Mr McKenzie said.

“He had no choice because the traffic had stopped and the passengers got out of the cab.”

One woman, who did not want to be named, told the Advocate she would not pay her fine.

“It’s disgusting. It spoilt the Cup,” the woman said. “Heaps of people got booked and lots are going to contest it.”

A Coffs Harbour City Council spokeswoman said most motorists moved on when parking officers asked them to but some ignored the directions.

“We weren’t there trying to make infringement notices. We were there to ensure a better traffic flow,” the spokeswoman said.

“You can imagine if there are 8500 people attending the races there could be possibly 1000 traffic movements in that street. We were there to ensure there was less chaos and it was safer for pedestrians.”

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