Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ticking time-bomb in Lancashire ...

The Lancashire Evening Post today reports on a potential problem for Lancashire Councils' parking enforcement operations run by Parkwise.

An adjudication listed for yesterday was adjourned for 28 days to allow skeleton arguments to be submitted.
Have you had a ticket in Lancashire? If so, the story below will be of interest to you (and potentially your wallet) ...

Driver brings landmark case over Lancashire parking fine
By Tom Moseley
Lancashire Evening Post

THOUSANDS of parking fines could be torn up if campaigners win a landmark case, it has been claimed.
According to campaigners the case turns on the precise wording used on fine notices.
They said it could trigger refunds worth millions of pounds.

But bosses at Parkwise, the Lancashire-wide parking agreement between councils, said they were not aware of a problem and would await a judgment from a tribunal before commenting.

A woman from Chorley has brought a case against Park-wise with the help of parking ticket campaigner Neil Herron.
He claimed the "notice to owner", sent when a fine increases because it is not paid within 14 days, had been worded illegally for years until a recent revamp of traffic laws.

The case relates to notices issued before April 2008, when the new Traffic Management Act came into force.

Mr Herron, who has successfully challenged parking fines across the country, said:
"This would mean every notice to owner issued to drivers in Lancashire under the old regime is invalid and could be refunded."

He said drivers had been told to pay the £60 fine within 28 days of the date the notice was sent, which should have been the date it was received.
He added: "It effectively shortens the time period people have to respond. "

The case was adjourned yesterday at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal in Manchester to allow legal arguments to be prepared.

The case does not affect Blackburn with Darwen, which runs its own parking enforcement.

In January, the Lancashire Telegraph revealed Parkwise was to be scrapped when its contract expires in 2009 as it is expected to end up almost £1million in the red.

A spokeswoman said: "Until the facts are presented and a decision made by the independent adjudicator, we cannot investigate the specific details relating to this case."
"Following adjudication we will be in a position to seek relevant legal advice should it be required."

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