A TIRED  visitor went to sleep in his van and woke up to a parking ticket issued by Dorset Council – in contrast to the travellers who were given toilets and bin bags.

Mick Stanger says he does not dispute the fine he was given for sleeping in his van after a day watching the flying at Bournemouth Air festival.

But he was surprised afterwards to find that travellers who set up camp illegally at Sandbanks at same time received help rather than parking tickets.

Mick and partner Ann Muscroft, from Wakefield in West Yorkshire, headed for Bournemouth on the first day of the festival and decided to watch the displays from Studland.

“We had a good day and got back to the van. I drive for a living and I know what tiredness is like. I thought ‘My eyes are really tired from staring at the sky all day’,” he said.

The couple went to sleep in the van on the Studland beach road, where overnight stays are not allowed.

“We fell asleep and woke up at 7am. I had a parking ticket on my van,” said Mr Stanger.

They had no complaint about getting the ticket, although Mr Stanger said it “would have been better” if the parking warden had woken them and given them a chance to move on.

“I’m not opposed to the parking ticket because I was parked where I shouldn’t be parked overnight. There was a sign saying 'No overnight parking', so I paid my fine," he said.

“Then I read the newspaper article about travellers being on this car park and being provided with portable toilets and bin bags.

“I stayed overnight and paid £35. They stayed overnight and they get free toilets and bin bags!”

Mr Stanger’s parking fine was issued by Dorset Council, while a few miles away in Sandbanks, BCP Council was dealing with an unauthorised camp in at Sandbanks.

A group of six caravans and two campervans arrived that weekend at Sandbanks car park, where daytime parking starts at £2 for an hour and rises to £15 for a 14-hour stay.

BCP Council provided the travellers with temporary toilets and bin liners in accordance with a policy designed to reduce contamination at the site.

A statement from Cllr Felicity Rice, cabinet member for the environment, said: “Gypsies and travellers are protected from discrimination by the Equality Act 2010. BCP Council has a legal obligation to follow a set of procedures when notified of an unauthorised encampment by travellers on council land.”

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