Thursday, March 09, 2006

Refunds after new parking blunder

Sunderland Echo
Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Council bosses are refunding even more parking tickets after admitting another blunder.
Traffic chiefs have revealed they are not pursuing drivers who haven't paid fines where the ticket doesn't show a date of issue.
The move comes after a case involving Bury Council where it was ruled that a penalty charge notice (PCN) must show the date to be legally binding.
All tickets show the date of contravention, but some have not included the date on which they were written.
Now the 46 parking tickets handed out after legal advice was given to the council on November 25 will be refunded, but anyone who paid up before then will not get their money back.
Parking campaigner Neil Herron today said the admission was proof that all parking tickets issued between February 2003 and November last year were illegal and needed to be repaid.
The announcement follows refunds worth thousands that have been given out for parking tickets issued in disabled bays and taxi ranks, and an admission that the 20mph zones in the city need to be redrawn.
The council received information from the National Parking Adjudication Services back in May last year about the Bury decision, which affects councils that have chosen to take over parking enforcement from the police.
A council statement said: " The city council has corrected this technicality and all PCNs now bear the date of issue as well as the date of contravention.
"The city council's legal advice confirms that all PCNs which have been issued without an issue date, but were not appealed against and paid at the time, remain valid and therefore no refunds will be made in these circumstances.
"A small number of PCNs for which payment had been made after legal advice was received on November 25, 2005, are being reimbursed."
Mr Herron said: "If the tickets are unlawful for the people who haven't paid then they are unlawful for the people who have. They should have held their hands up when they were told they had made a mistake in June."

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