TRAFFIC wardens are facing accusations they set out to ruin Old Town after a line of cars were ticketed on Wood Street.

But the £35 fines slapped on windscreens had business owners and their customers scratching their heads. Signs just yards from the ticketed vehicles clearly said no parking restrictions were in place on Sunday between 9am and 6pm.

The fines were meted out by two traffic wardens around lunchtime.

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Manni Madhani, a director at Bardolino’s restaurant and the Old Bank club, told the Adver: “It’s a Sunday. The town is suffering and now the traffic wardens have ventured here to ruin Old Town.

“I’m just appalled by the way the council is operating things. I think it’s absolutely shocking the way we’re being treated.”

The 49-year-old was at pains to stress that he realised the traffic wardens were just doing their job

He admitted losing his temper with one of the wardens who had pointed to a sign at the High Street end of the road that states no vehicles are allowed on Wood Street between 6am and 6pm on Sundays.

But Mr Madhani insisted the sign related to Sunday markets and other special events.

He claimed the leader of the council had told him parking wardens should be using their common sense.

Anne Roberts, 35, a manager at Helen Browning’s Chop House, said: “I saw the parking attendants and I assumed they must be new because there is always free parking on Wood Street on a Sunday.

“I’ve been parking here nearly every Sunday for two-and-a-half years.

"I can’t remember ever seeing a parking attendant and I’ve never got a fine.”

Paul Smith, 52, from Wanborough, was stung for a fine as he took his family out for a meal at the Chop House.

He said: “You expect it in London or Bath.”

Gary Wemyss, 60, said: “It’s disgusting. I checked the sign and it was clear to me it was free parking.”

The Adver counted at least seven ticketed cars along Wood Street on Sunday at 2.30pm.

Vehicles parked on both sides of the road had been fined.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman was unavailable to comment before the Adver went to press.