Another fine mess for local councils
Large numbers of parking tickets appeals not contested
Thousands of motorists are being taken to court unnecessarily to contest wrongly issued parking tickets. Last year more than 54,000 appeals against parking fines were lodged with the London Parking Adjudicator of which almost a third could not be contested by the Council responsible for issuing them.
On receiving notice of an appeal, a local authority can cancel a fine however, Ealing Council let almost 600 appeals go to court only to offer no evidence on the day of the hearing whilst Hounslow Council allowed over 300 cases to be heard without being able to produce any evidence against the motorist.
Source : www.appealnow.com
Internet pressure group AppealNow.com said these figures are ‘shocking proof’ that councils were failing to handle complaints about unfair fines correctly. Website creator Barrie Segal, who claims to be the leading parking ticket expert in the UK, said “In each case that goes to appeal, councils were initially contacted by motorists saying why the ticket was issued incorrectly. Instead of examining the facts, many councils took the easy way out and rejected the complaint, forcing the motorist all the way to appeal. It is easy for a council with unlimited funds and time to do this but in each case it meant a motorist had the enormous stress of a hearing hanging over them for months.”
With aim of combating the issuing of false fines, Westminster Council believes their scheme to issue parking attendants with digital cameras should be replicated in other london authorities. The central London authority issued their parking attendants with new equipment this summer resulting in an 18% drop in the number of fines.
Campaigning website www.ticketbusters.co.uk gives motorists the following advice:
December 14, 2005