Thursday, October 02, 2008

Had a parking ticket in Guildford? Help is on the way.

First big one was Sheffield. Then ParkingAppeals.co.uk submitted Freedom of Information requests to all councils to check which ones KNEW that they had non-compliant restrictions and paperwork and now suddenly councils are suspending enforcement and refunding money BEFORE we expose them.

However, there is one northern authority who is now fully aware that their restrictions are unlawful because of a Traffic Order problem which goes back to 2001 and one south London authority who have CPZ problems going back 10 years.

It is anticipated that many more will start to own up to problems to avoid more serious investigations and legal action.

Is it time for everyone to come clean or will some try to maintain that the law doesn't apply to them and they can use unlawful signs as long as 'the motorist doesn't appear to have been misled.'


Legal blunder leads to free parking in Guildford
Get Surrey
By Colin Parker 18/ 9/2008

GUILDFORD’S shoppers can temporarily park on the town’s streets without having to pay following a legal error.
Signs were put up this week near the 495 on-street pay-and-display bays advising motorists about the situation.
The suspension in charging, which does not affect off-street parking or yellow lines in Guildford, is likely to last until November.
Experts working at Surrey County Council (SCC) noticed a mistake in the authority’s written parking order, which has meant all fees and fines are invalid.
Anyone with proof of on-street parking, or of having paid a fine, over the past four years can now apply to Guildford Borough Council for a possible refund. More ...


Had a ticket in Guildford?

We are currently in discussions with Guildford Borough Council to determine exactly what their procedures will be to ensure that everyone who s entitled to a refund is informed, and to ensure that the council does not keep any 'unlawfully derived' income.

Once established you wil be able to go to http://www.parkingappeals.co.uk/ where you will be able to download a standard letter to request a refund. This will be available free of charge to ensure that no-one loses out.

Meanwhile, here is the series of questions put to Guildford's Head of Parking:


Mr. Kevin McKee
Parking Manager
The Parking Office
Guildford Borough Council
Laundry Road
Guildford
Surrey
GU1 4PX

2nd October 2008

Dear Mr. McKee

Re: Refund of Parking Fines issued by Guildford Borough Council


I run an online parking appeals company and have been contacted by a number of people seeking clarification of the reasons behind the problem with Guildford Borough Council's on-street parking problem and the procedure required to obtain refunds.

In order to ensure that everyone is supplied with the correct information and to avoid any extra burden on the public purse caused by duplicated Subject Access Requests and Freedom of Information queries I would be grateful for clarification of the following:
However, I wish to firstly commend Guildford Borough Council for going public with the admission that there are errors in the Traffic Order which has led to the council being 'unjustly enriched' and that refunds are to be made.

  1. In the first instance I would be grateful if you could please clarify why it is that refunds are not being made automatically when the council has the full details of those who have made payments especially as the council is not entitled to retain any, now admitted, unlawfully derived income.
  2. Secondly, can you confirm that it is only the Town Centre Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) Zone D which is affected and that the problem is specific to Guildford and does not affect or relate to any other TROs across the Highway Authority's (Surrey County Council) area and confirm what the error was and when and how it was spotted?
  3. If it has been established that there has been no legal basis for issuing fines or requesting payment for on-street parking what does the council intend to do with its unlawfully derived income in order to avoid an objection to the accounts under Section 17 of the Audit Commission Act 1998? Do you intend to donate any surplus to charity, if so, which one?
  4. How do you intend to inform all registered keepers who have been issued with fines in the affected area and time period of the current situation bearing in mind that many may not be readers of the local press?
    I have copied this in to a number of interested parties. I look forward to your response.

    Yours sincerely,


    Neil Herron

    Parking Appeals Ltd.
    26 York Street
    London
    W1U 6PZ

2 comments:

Guildford said...

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Guildford said...

I just came across your blog and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here. I have a site Guildford http://www.guildfordeye.com so I know what I'm talking about when I say your site is top-notch! Keep up the great work, you are providing a great resource on the Internet here!

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