DORSET County Council has been forced to defend itself after a parking warden was spotted leaving their vehicle on a yellow line, to hand out fines to people who had done the exact same thing.

The authority said the action is in line with its ratified parking policy and being unable to park in restricted zones would limit their ability to carry out their duties.

The county council branded van was spotted parked up in Freshwater Road, Christchurch, on a single yellow line.

A warning sign on the lamppost next to the vehicle clearly states no parking is allowed between 10am and 7pm from April 1 to September 30.

A resident reported seeing the warden proceed to walk along the adjoining road, Seaway Avenue, to brandish penalty charge notices for vehicles that were parked in breach of the regulations.

The residential road that the council vehicle was parked in was relatively narrow and this could have caused access issues for larger vehicles while it was parked on the roadside.

However, after being contacted for a response on the matter by the Daily Echo, a Dorset County Council officer said the behaviour of the warden was not in breach of any regulations that the authority had in place.

Paul Hutton, parking services team leader at Dorset County Council said: “Civil enforcement officers are mobile throughout their working day as they need to cover large areas of the county.

"On occasions, and in line with the council’s ratified parking policy, an enforcement officer can park on a yellow line whilst actively enforcing.

"Due to the nature of restricted zones, it would be difficult for an enforcement officer to find a location in which to park away from the area, in order to carry out their duty.

“There are a number of different circumstances when a vehicle - including parking enforcement and emergency services - can park in contravention of a Traffic Regulation Order while in the executing of their duties.”