A COUPLE got an unexpected anniversary present as they were slapped with a parking ticket in Dorchester.

Alan Horwood, who lives in Crossways, is now hoping to warn people to be careful when parking in disabled bays in the county town.

Mr Horwood, and his wife who is disabled, came in to Dorchester to do some shopping when they parked in a disabled bay on New Street, with a badge displayed.

They then went to do some shopping to return to find the ticket.

Mr Horwood said: “What it was, it was our anniversary at the weekend.

“My wife is very disabled and we went up to town to get some things. She was in a lot of pain.

“We parked up near Trinity Street, we’ve never parked up there.

“We were gone a little while and they put a ticket on my motor. I was very, very shocked and then somebody said to me that we’re only allowed to park up there at a certain time.”

When observing the signs, Mr Horwood saw that he was only permitted to park there after 4.30pm.

However, he said he found it difficult to see, with the road busy with people and in the past bollards have been put up to stop people parking there.

He said: “You’ve got people walking across in front of you, you’ve really got to look.

“I think they used to put bollards up but they don’t anymore”

Despite this, the couple still enjoyed celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

He said: “We had a really really big do. 80 odd people came up. They don’t last 50 years today.”

Mr Horwood acknowledged he was wrong but said it was very annoying he has to pay a fine.

He wanted to make people aware that you are not to park there during the day.

A spokesperson from Dorset County Council reiterated that the road is closed during the day.

The spokesperson said: “We would like to remind people that the road is closed for any vehicle between the hours of 9.30am until 4.30pm.

“There is a sign clearly visible that informs people of this restriction. The same applies to the disabled parking bay."

Mr Horwood would have to pay a fine of £70 or £35 if paid within 14 days.