“UNFAIR” private car park rules are leaving some elderly people worried and losing sleep, according to a council veteran. 

Cllr Bill Woodhead, who first held office in 1973, questioned the rules enforced at private car parks in the borough at the latest Stockton Council place select committee. 

The independent member for Fairfield said he’d heard from older motorists who’d been penalised for being just “a couple of minutes over” limits in some cases. 

Cllr Woodhead added: “I’ve been on to the council to ask about the legality of these tickets because I’ve had quite a few elderly people worried.

“I’ve had one lady who couldn’t sleep on a night because she’d had a ticket – someone told her not to pay it and she got another one for £60. 

“I’m surprised the shops haven’t complained about these things – it must be deterring people if they’re fined for being just a couple of minutes over, or not quite within the parking space.”

A ten-minute “grace period” was introduced for all council car parks in England in 2015 but it is currently voluntary for private parking firms.

However, fresh government proposals unveiled in early November indicated the ten-minute leeway for fines would be extended to privately owned car parks under a potential new code of practice for the industry.