Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Changes ordered after parking ticket chaos

Sunderland Echo
27th December 05

COUNCILLORS are trying to close a loophole that has forced them to return tens of thousands of pounds-worth of parking tickets.

Sunderland Council is examining its parking orders to make sure there is no repeat of the refund fiasco – which saw £34,000 handed back to motorists wrongly booked for stopping in taxi bays.
The council admits some of the orders as “ambiguous” and need to be reviewed.
The changes have been ordered after a massive review that began when campaigners picked holes in Sunderland Council’s parking and traffic regulations.
Traffic regulation orders are made by the council to make sure that people park safely and conveniently.
Because some of the rules on traffic orders were missing, campaigners claim the council’s move over to decriminalised parking has been “unlawful”.
The council says mistakes were made in the changes but the system is “lawful”, unless there is a successful legal challenge. Hundreds of updated traffic orders are now needed to clear the air and put it “beyond doubt”.
Neil Herron, anti-regional assembly campaigner and so-called “metric martyr”, said: “If Sunderland City Council wish for people to observe the law then it, too, has a duty to observe the law and it failed in that requirement with the parking regulations.”
There are murmurings among city councillors on how much the whole parking exercise is costing council tax payers, when it emerged that recommendations from consultants were not followed through before the 2003 change over.
Mr Herron added: “You don’t change ‘correct’ traffic orders to make them more ‘correct’, it was wrong in the first instance so the council is now rectifying its mistakes. ”
Phil Barrett, the city’s director of development and regeneration, states in a report to the latest meeting of the council’s highways and planning committee, there was “ambiguity” about the wording on some waiting, loading and parking places in Sunderland.
He said the new orders were “to put the matter beyond doubt” and added: “In summary, the proposed changes to the orders comprise: the amalgamation of orders; updated terminology; corrections to descriptions of parking places no longer in existence or where no charges are made.”


wonkotsane said...

If the consultants they employed to set this up messed it up in the first nplace then they should be paying for the fallout.

Anonymous said...

The Council failed to implement the consultants recommendations.

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