Town's parking ticket 'blunder'
Manchester Evening News
Wednesday 5 October 2005
CELEBRITY lawyer Nick Freeman has some free advice he says could help thousands of motorists beat a parking charge.
The solicitor, who has earned a small fortune finding loopholes in the law for the rich and famous, says parking bosses in Rochdale have made a legal blunder in the wording of parking tickets.
Mr Freeman claims tickets issued by the council since July last year have been wrongly addressed and are open to a legal challenge.
He is encouraging motorists who have been given the tickets to demand their money back. It is believed the alleged blunder has been made on thousands of tickets.
Under a new parking enforcement regime, introduced in Rochdale in July last year, penalty charge notices should be issued to the owner of the vehicle. But the council has continued to issue tickets addressed to the driver. Mr Freeman said anyone who has received the wrongly addressed tickets should be refunded.
"If the council has been enforcing fines from tickets that are out of date they must refund," said Mr Freeman, who counts David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson among his clients.
"They are also liable for any damages incurred. I think this is a case of trying to take advantage of Joe Public.
"They should contact the council and say `I want my money back'."
Parking campaigner Neil Herron has uncovered similar blunders over the wording of tickets in Sunderland and Blackburn.
Mr Herron said at least one motorist in Rochdale has successfully challenged the council there over a wrongly-worded parking ticket.
He said that parking enforcement was "decriminalised" under new rules brought in last July and that meant that the owner of a car was liable, rather than the driver.
Mr Herron said: "Under the new decriminalised parking enforcement, the driver is no longer liable if they fail to pay the ticket.
"The authorities will demand payment from the owner. But the notices in Rochdale have all been to the driver of the vehicle. All the tickets in Rochdale since the decriminalised parking enforcement was introduced have been invalid. The old tickets have been carried over into the new regime.
"The ticket has to say owner, no ifs or buts."
Motorists issued with a parking ticket are fined £30. If the money is not paid within 14 days it goes up to £60 and then £90.
Claims that thousands of tickets are invalid could now trigger a huge number of appeals to the council from motorists and if their appeals are upheld tens of thousands of pounds would have to be repaid.
Council parking boss Kevin Mayor said: "Since decriminalised parking was introduced in Rochdale, the ultimate liability has always been with the registered keeper of the vehicle. There has never been a fixed legal wording of notices.
"Last month Rochdale Council was asked by the National Parking Adjudication Service to make minor changes to the wording of our penalty charge notices. We acted immediately. "Penalty charge notices issued before this time have been accepted by the National Parking Adjudication Service."
- ► 2011 (51)
- ► 2010 (174)
- ► 2009 (115)
- ► 2008 (179)
- ► 2007 (210)
- ► 2006 (392)
- Formal complaint lodged with Audit Commission...re...
- Chorley Borough Council and Parkwise now in their ...
- Dam starting to crack...Chorley Borough Council ad...
- Penalty Claws
- Not long before this happens here
- Rebellion Grows
- Press Release ... Council guilty of Parking Cover-...
- Parking fines on verge of collapsing across the co...
- Rochdale's ship ready to sink
- Remember that Glowing Report on Decriminalised Par...
- What part of 'No' do these people not understand!
- News From the Front Line 10th October 2005
- Town's parking ticket 'blunder'
- Vaux Site...Sunderland Council and 'Who Built the ...
- Smell of Blood in the water...another victory comi...
- Another Fine Mess
- Parking fine refund fight continues
- Illegal parking fines could cost city council up t...
- City in fine mess ignored advice
- Another Bill of Rights Victory...This time in Sund...
- Sunderland City Council's Parking Regime in its fi...
- Media Statement by Sunderland City Council: Parkin...
- Parking Fines and Bill of Rights issue on Radio 4
- EU places illicit ads for itself
- Here's how to haul down those EU flags
- "It's Hard Being a Cowboy in Rochdale"
- ▼ October (26)