When Barbarina Wild, of Eastbourne, had her car clamped at Brighton station last week for parking in a disabled spot she found her credit cards and bank overdraft were at their limit. Paying the pound;60 fine to release the car was impossible. And a hard-hearted clamping firm refused to make an exception for a lone woman teacher trapped in Brighton at midnight.
Fortunately, transport police gallantly offered to let Ms Wild spend the night in an empty train in the sidings. "The car would have been too cold to sleep in so I didn't have any choice," Ms Wild told the Brighton Evening Argus. "The train was quite dirty and I refused to sleep on the first train British Transport Police suggested but it was not too bad considering." The next day, Ms Wild caught a train to work in Croydon and stayed overnight with a friend. She returned the following day with the fine money.
But could the sidings at Brighton be a more permanent solution for a cash-strapped Home Counties teacher? Sadly, Inspector Gary Ancell, of Brighton transport police, says Ms Wild's was an exceptional case.