A father-of-four is willing to do battle in court to fight a parking fine he received because his environmentally friendly scooter was too small for an on-street parking bay.

Robin Swailes, who fell foul of wardens when he was ticketed for putting his Vespa scooter in a Beaumont Street parking bay on Thursday, June 5 - claims Oxfordshire County Council's rules on parking encourages people to drive gas-guzzlers rather than greener vehicles.

Despite paying for a two-hour parking ticket, the 42-year-old was hit with a ticket within an hour as he failed to read the small-print on the parking meter banning motorbikes without sidecars.

He now faces a fine of £70, reduced to £35 if he pays within 14 days. But the director of North Oxford Property Services feels he has been penalised for trying to lower his carbon footprint and believes the council's parking rules should be more clearly displayed.

Mr Swailes, of Canal Street, Jericho, said: "It's ridiculous. There's about 30 lines of small print on those machines.

"People are too busy to be reading all the council's rules on a box when they have got work to do.

"It's ludicrous. I am reducing my carbon footprint and I'm penalised by Oxfordshire County Council for it. It's almost encouraging the use of cars and larger vehicles like motorcycles with sidecars.

"Shouldn't people be encouraged to use little scooters instead?"

The business director, whose company has bought three scooters to be more environmentally friendly, said his Italian Vespa does 85 miles to the gallon as opposed to his BMW which does 28.

He added: "It's confusing. On any residents' parking area in Oxford you are allowed to park a scooter for free, but when I want to pay for it I get a big fine.

"I have tried to obey the law by paying for two hours. It's like I've been cursed by the traffic wardens."

Council parking manager Helen Crozier said: "If this gentleman had read the front of the pay-and-display machines, which advise the cost of parking and the restrictions, he would have seen the rules.

"Oxfordshire County Council has supplied areas where motorcycles and scooters can park in the city centre. The closest to Beaumont Street is St Giles. Motorcyclists abide by these rules day in and day out without any problem."

Mr Swailes said: "I'm stunned. I think it's very unfair.

"What's the rationale behind not being able to park a scooter there? I'm going to appeal and if that doesn't work I will go to court to fight it."