A RESIDENT whose car was moved so contractors from Ealing Council could paint yellow lines has spoken of his stress after the fine came back to haunt him 14 months after he received the parking ticket.

Last week Ealing Council assured Mike Fox, 35, of Salisbury Road, West Ealing, that the matter is now closed.

Mr Fox received a letter three weeks ago from Ealing Council's parking services saying he must pay the £80 fine he got for parking in the wrong place last June.

He was told he could appeal against the decision but Mr Fox insists the ticket should have been cancelled immediately because he did not do anything wrong.

He said: "I was parked legally within the residents parking bay, for which I have a permit, when contractors from Ealing Council moved my car and left it in front of someone's drive. I was then given a parking ticket and two days later I had a message on my answerphone from parking services saying that BT had moved the car and it was blocking someone's drive."

Mr Fox checked with BT to see if they had moved his car, which was parked in The Grove, Ealing, on June 16 last year, but they said they had not carried out any work in his former street.

He added: "The movement of my car was witnessed by other residents, who told me that contractors responsible for painting yellow lines moved my car on June 17 but there were no notices warning residents of the work."

Mr Fox wrote to parking services immediately to complain about his ticket but was told he would still have to pay the fine. He sent two more letters on August 12 and October 12 last year but did not hear back and thought the ticket had been cancelled.

He said: "I thought the matter was finished but then received a letter dated August 5, 2005 saying the fine still stands because it is my responsibility to check my answerphone messages."

A council spokesman said: "We apologise for the delay in responding to his correspondence. The council has launched an internal investigation to ensure mistakes like this do not happen again. The council will be contacting Mr Fox to advise him that the case is now closed and he will not have to pay the ticket."