Monday, June 23, 2008

Is Ealing Council going to refund motorists? will assist with obtaining justice for motorists unlawfully fined at this location. For more information visit our website where we will not only give you the defence but show you how to go about seeking restitution.

Drivers’ rage at £1M money box
By Alex Hayes
Ealing Times

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz at the Ruislip Road box junction which the council stopped policing after it was declared too big by a parking ombudsman.

A CONTROVERSIAL box junction in Southall has netted Ealing Council more than £1m in just 12 months.

Nearly 19,000 motorists were fined after being caught on CCTV while stopping in the box junction between South Road and St Joseph's Drive, despite two rulings by the Parking Ombudsman saying it is too large.

Two other junctions, situated within 200m and of the same design, have also netted the council thousands.

Jim Douglas, who runs consumer website Moneybox Junction which gives advice to motorists who believe they have been unfairly charged, said Ealing is the authority he gets the most complaints about.

He said: "It's disgusting. The council is not obliged to enforce these junctions, but the fact it does so vigorously suggests it is using this as a tax farm, a cash cow to top up its revenue.
"It wouldn't take much for the council to change the junctions to bring them in line with the regulations, but to do that would cost it money in fines, and it would also be admitting it is wrong.
"However, it continues to send out tickets like confetti and whenever someone takes it to appeal it does not contest because it knows it is in the wrong."

Last week the Department for Transport (DfT) advised councils to pay back money which had been raised through unfair enforcement to motorists.

Now Councillor Bassam Mahfouz (Lab, Northolt Mandeville), is urging Ealing Council to refund thousands of people caught stopping in a box junction between Mansell Road and Ruislip Road in Greenford, which was also ruled unlawful and is no longer enforced.

He said: "There were lots of complaints about this junction last year. The council's blunt response was that residents should pay up or appeal.
"The problem for residents is when you appeal you risk doubling the fine and that's one thing many couldn't afford - and hundreds were pressured into paying fines that should never have been levied."

Father-of-two Parmjit Jassal, 43, has sent the council his own bill for a fine he paid on the junction between South Road and Cambridge Road in Southall in April.
Parmjit, a customer services manager, said: "I have increased the amount I'm asking for to £120 as the council has not responded. I am playing it at its own game. All it is interested in is taking the money.
"I was in hospital having treatment for my slipped disc when the fine came ten days after I was photographed, and my wife paid it because she did not want the stress of it hanging over her.
"The reason I stopped is another driver had pulled out in front of me and was blocking the road, but it was only a matter of seconds."

Claire Vranch, a spokesman for Ealing Council, said the council has received no information from the Department for Transport (DfT) that the Greenford junction is unlawful and will not be issuing any refunds.

She said: "Box junctions do not need DfT consent, and the council and our specialist highway design consultants are confident box junctions in Ealing meet all the necessary guidance."

Have you been caught out on one of these box junctions and would likea refund?

If so e-mail us at and head it "Ealing"

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