SOUTH Lakeland District Council has apologised and backed down after issuing a parking ticket to a motorist who had crashed in the snow.

Catherine Niblock, 26, was issued the penalty after being forced to abandon her car on Friday night, when heavy snow sent it hurtling into another vehicle on Beast Banks, Kendal.

The PE teacher explained she was left ‘hysterical and shaken’ after the incident.

Passers-by who saw the crash rushed to her aid, helping her push the Peugeot on to the nearby Low Fellside car park, run by SLDC for permit holders.

Miss Niblock left an apologetic note explaining what had happened, urging anyone who needed the space to telephone her.

But when she returned to collect her car after the snow had cleared on Sunday morning, she found she had been issued with a parking ticket.

The Gazette stepped in after speaking to Miss Niblock - and now SLDC has agreed to write off the penalty altogether.

“I was so shaken. I was really shocked and shaking and I couldn’t have moved the car,” said Miss Niblock, who works at Queen Katherine School, in Kendal.

“The snow was bad and I didn’t want to risk crashing it again.

“I also didn’t know how bad the damage was and wasn’t sure it would even make it home, so the logical thing seemed to be to leave it on the car park until I could move it.”

She continued: “I crashed into a parked car and people on the street and staff from Wetherspoons came out to help me.

“I was so upset when I came back and found the parking ticket. It’s the last thing you want when you’ve crashed your car and are trying to sort that out.

“It’s been so stressful, really upsetting.”

She explained that she left her home, at Beast Banks, at around 5pm on Friday to drive to Manchester for a university reunion.

But just seconds into her journey, she was sent hurtling down the snow-covered hill after losing control of her car.

“It was horrendous,” she said. “Just so scary."

Coun Ian Stewart, portfolio holder for economy and enterprise, said: “We would like to thank the Gazette for bringing this to the authority’s attention and apologise to Miss Niblock for the trouble we have caused her.”