Saturday, September 19, 2009

Manchester City Council MUST refund all the money

There are two angles to this story which need further investigation:

1. The statement "We will look at each ticket on a case by case basis," by Assistant Chief Executive Vicky Rosin is outrageous and could lead to any unlawfully charged motorist, ratepayer or councillor making a complaint of misconduct in public office. Why would the motorist need to contact the council? The council have their details.
The council are aware that the Penalty Charges were unlawful.
The council are aware that they cannot retain unlawfully derived income.
The District Auditor needs to be contacted immediately.

2. The 'independent' Traffic Penalty Tribunal is funded solely from PCN revenue at the rate of 60p per PCN. They will have received £10,800 from Manchester's unlawful PCNs and will therefore have been similarly 'unjustly enriched.' As the lid starts coming off this whole sorry can of worms our elected representatives will be forced to initiate an inquiry into why all of the employees of the 'independent' Traffic Penalty Tribunal are actually employed by Manchester City Council.

18,000 drivers had illegal fines
BBC News 18th September 2009

The council's cameras were not certified until May 2007
More than 18,000 fines handed to motorists caught driving in bus lanes in Manchester were illegal, the local authority has admitted.

The drivers were all caught out by cameras between October 2006 and May 2007 - before they were approved for use in bus lanes.

Manchester City Council believed the cameras could be retrospectively certified - but lawyers ruled it out.

It could now face a payout of more than £544,000 to drivers who were caught.
All bus lane cameras in the city have had Department for Transport approval since 24 December 2008.

Administrative error
The uncertified cameras came to light during a review of its bus lane enforcement.
Vicky Rosin, assistant chief executive, said the "deeply regrettable administrative oversight" took place in the early stages of bus lane enforcement.
"We have taken steps to notify the public as soon as this technicality came to our attention. We apologise for this mix-up," said Ms Rosin.

People who think they have been issued with a penalty charge notice by one of the cameras during the relevant period have been advised to contact the council.
"We will look at each ticket on a case by case basis," she added.
"However, we want to remind people that all of our current bus lane enforcement cameras have full approval and we remain determined to ensure that bus lanes stay free-flowing for the benefit of public transport users and to help prevent congestion."

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