Saturday, October 11, 2008

Another crack in the dam ...

... refunding 'as a gesture of goodwill.'

This is the type of arrogance and patronising behaviour that will incense everyone who has been fined.

We are rapidly approaching the tipping point.

More motorists get parking fine refunds
This is London Local
3rd September 2008
By Tomasz Johnson

Transport for London has been forced into backtracking even further over parking fines issued in Hampstead Garden Suburb.
Hundreds of motorists have forked out thousands of pounds after unwittingly parking in a poorly-marked bay in Market Place, unaware it was for loading and unloading only.

After two fines were over- turned by the independent parking adjudicator in June, TfL agreed to stop enforcing the bay and cancel all outstanding parking tickets.

But it has now gone one step further, following pressure from Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents’ Association (HGSRA) and refunded around 200 motorists a total of up to £12,000, after they sent letters complaining they had been duped.

Gary Shaw, of HGSRA, said: “We are delighted to have obtained these refunds for our members and for the many visitors to the suburb, who were unreasonably fined.
“This is another positive development after TfL withdrew all outstanding unpaid tickets earlier in the year.”

However, the fight is still not over for the association, which is demanding refunds on all tickets, whether they were challenged or not.

A TfL spokeswoman said it was not obliged to issue the refunds and did so “as a gesture of goodwill”.

She added: “While the adjudication hearing applies only to those penalty charge notices (PCNs) heard, TfL has taken the unusual step of reviewing other PCNs issued at this location. We have decided we will not be contesting appeals lodged, nor will we continue enforcement on any outstanding PCNs at this location.
“While this is not required by the adjudication, TfL feels it is an appropriate and positive step in responding to the issues at Market Place.”

An internal memo obtained from TfL under the Freedom of Information Act, reveals the loading bay in Market Place was TfL’s hottest spot for issuing fines.

The memo refers to a “significant level of antagonism” caused by the bay and others like it, where a high number of motorists had challenged their fines.

It also mentions the “risk at this area that customers who have already paid will be challenging TfL for refunds of PCNs.”

Mr Shaw added: “The system disgracefully prejudices the public and we do not believe that TfL should be even a penny better off as a result of what has happened in Market Place.
“We will be pressing TfL to return all remaining fines and for a charitable donation to be made in respect of any cases where the motorists can no longer be traced.”

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