A SENSIBLE party goer who decided to leave her car in Dean Street car park and walk home after having lunch with friends on Christmas Day was given a parking fine.

Lynn Sullivan, 47, of Ryans Mount, Marlow, thought she was being responsible by deciding not to drive home after enjoying a few drinks over a leisurely lunch at Villa D'Este in Chapel Street.

She left her Land Rover Freelander overnight in the Wycombe District Council pay and display car park opposite the restaurant and walked the half mile home.

When she returned to collect the car in the morning there was a penalty charge notice on her windscreen.

Mrs Sullivan, a self employed analyst, said: "I was enraged.

"It was about half past nine in the morning and it was one of the only cars in the car park.

"It's not as though I was taking up space that other people wanted to use. The shops were dead at that time.

"I didn't check but I presumed you didn't have to pay on a Bank Holiday, especially at Christmas.

"The council ought to be encouraging people not to drink and drive, not handing out tickets for being responsible and leaving your car.

"My friend told me afterwards that I should have parked on the double yellow lines in the High Street because no-one ever polices that."

Mrs Sullivan said she drove into town because it was raining and didn't fancy walking in her party clothes and high heels.

She reluctantly paid the £30 fine because she didn't want to risk having to pay £60 if her appeal was turned down.

But she is still livid with the council.

Catherine Spalton, a spokesman for Wycombe District Council, said: "Payment is required on Bank Holidays in all Wycombe District Council-owned pay and display car parks in Marlow; this has been the policy for a number of years. Information about exceptions to payment for parking is clearly displayed on the signs in the car parks."

She said it cost £1 for 12 hours parking in Dean Street car park on a Bank Holiday. Failure to display a valid ticket incurs a fine, but the council said it would encourage anyone who feels they have a justifiable reason for appealing it to do so and each case would be assessed individually.