Friday, November 11, 2005

Another admission by Sunderland...Now it's the Meter Bays

Remember that Sunderland City Council's Decriminalised Parking Enforcement application to the Department for Transport stated that ALL the Traffic Regulation Orders and signs would be correct and 'in force' for the commencement of DPE on February 3rd 2003.
The Secretary of State granted the Special Parking Area status via a Statutory Instrument on that basis.

To date we have exposed:
-Taxi Rank Orders not in place.
-Blue Badge Holders unlawfully issued PCNs.
-No TRO in place for the City Centre Controlled Parking Zone.
-Thousands of missing, unlawful or incorrect signs...which the Council are hastily trying to cover up.
-And now an admission that the 'On Street Parking Places' Orders have had to be 'reviewed. This is because the areas contained in the new order actually have two orders in place...a bit like having a 20mph AND a 30mph speed limit on a road!

The time has come for the Council to stop digging and simply put their hands up and ask the Secretary of Stae to step in and revoke the Order granting them DPE powers.
Any High Court at this rate will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Sunderland Echo is requesting letters on the subject of 'What do you think of the city parking fines?' The e-mail address is

Parking problems are 'out of order'
Paul James
Sunderland Echo

PARKING meters in the city have been illegally raking in cash from city motorists, it was claimed today.

Metric martyr Neil Herron said new legal steps announced by the council this week were an admission the orders had not been in place.
He is calling for a fresh investigation into parking in Sunderland and said the past two years of parking revenue – since the council took over enforcement from the police – should be handed back.
Sunderland Council has already admitted handing out parking fines it did not have the authority to enforce, and is paying out thousands to city drivers.

Officers are continuing to review the regime and have pledged to correct any mistake they uncover.
The new orders cover swathes of the busiest city centre streets, including Norfolk Street, High Street West and Villiers Street.

The public notice announcing the order, from council chief executive Ged Fitzgerald, says the new measures were to "rationalise and update the provisions of the new on-street parking places orders".

But Mr Herron said: "They haven't got the orders in place to issue the tickets. This is an admission there's something seriously wrong."If they've got old orders in place to collect money from people from parking meters they wouldn't need this."

The council has refused to expand on a statement made last month, in which it said:
"In 2001 an external consultant's report detailed a number of areas requiring implementation or validation of parking restrictions in the city at that time."During the council's review it has become apparent that not all of these measures were actioned."The review will identify why this was the case. In the meantime, a new exercise to identify any current discrepancies is being undertaken as a matter of urgency."If it becomes apparent that any penalty-charge notices have been issued incorrectly, the council will take action where appropriate to remedy the position."
11 November 2005

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