Sunday, August 24, 2008

Parking Enforcement ... Unchecked, unregulated and out of control

This lawless industry is escalating out of control with more and more people becoming victims.

No censure, no scrutiny and no accoutability ... yet people are being harassed and bullied into handing over cash. The politicians' heads are buried in the sand.

The excuse that it's only a parking fine is not good enough. As more and more people wake up to this 'industry' then the politicians will be forced to sit up and take notice.

Pensioner bullied for £500 by parking ticket bailiffs
15 August 2008
By Julia Taylor

A retired university professor was bullied into paying more than £500 by bailiffs for a parking fine he was not even responsible for.
Dr David Russell, 72, sold his ex-wife's car to a Kent dealer when they separated and she returned to Thailand last year. He went to Thailand with her temporarily, and returned in January to discover a raft of parking tickets had mounted up at his Chapel Park Road home, while he was away.

When he investigated, Dr Russell found that the new owner - a dealer from Beckenham in Kent - had been on a "parking spree" around London before the M-reg Mercedes was officially transferred into his name by the DVLA. Now the transfer of ownership is complete, Dr Russell has negotiated with all-but-one of the affected councils, explaining that he was not in the country at the time of the parking offences.

But Southwark council in South London did not back down, and sent the matter, and their lawyers, to court. Despite applying for the hearing to be stopped Dr Russell found himself faced with two burly bailiffs demanding £560 this week.

Dr Russell called police for advice, and when they arrived the bailliffs made a complaint of assault against him, even though he is a pensioner due for a heart operation anytime soon.

He said: "They were trying to take my property away for a parking charge, when I wasn't even in the country at the time of the offence. "They were threatening to take away my car, so I called the police. By that time the bailiff was sat on my windowsill and refused to budge, and I tried to close the window. I then found I'd been accused of criminal assault by one of these bailiffs. "But you should have seen the size of him. "In the end I paid them, because I didn't want them to break in."

A spokesman for Southwark Council said: "Southwark Council carried out two separate checks with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to confirm who was responsible for the vehicle on the date the ticket was issued. One of these checks took place after the previous owner advised us that he had sold the vehicle and was overseas when the ticket was issued. "On both occasions, DVLA information confirmed the sale of the vehicle after the ticket was issued. The Council doesn't hold driver registration information - it's sourced from the DVLA - and any discrepancies about this information need to be raised with the DVLA. A vehicle owner has a legal duty to notify the DVLA of any change of ownership."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that anybody getting a PCN from Kirklees Council should take the PCN to appeal.
There are more defective parking lines and signs in that area than I have seen in many towns and cities in England.
Even when you find and challenge a non compliant line or sign Kirklees Council official deny that they are defective, then they go and alter the lines and signs to make them legal.
Just to highlight how the local council are, read this article from the Huddersfield Examiner.
Take my advice, do not come to Kirklees, shop somewhere else.

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