Friday, April 23, 2010
More refunds as the fightback continues ...
Council forced to refund £134,000 in parking fines
A council was forced to repay £134,000 in parking fines after changing the rules for leaving cars on bank holidays but forgetting to change the signs.
22 Apr 2010
Camden Council in north London bebgan ticketing drivers for parking on single yellow lines on Good Friday and Easter Monday.
But the has now agreed to refund all the money after a storm of complaints.
And it has promised that in future, drivers will be able to park on single yellows on bank holidays - as they always have done.
Andrew Marshall, the council's Conservative deputy leader, said: "Camden Council got it wrong in terms of enforcing single yellow lines on Easter bank holidays.
Camden Council will now communicate clearly in the run-up to the next bank holiday that we are NOT enforcing single yellow lines."
But Barrie Segal, of the AppealNow website, has called for an inquiry into the council's actions.
He said: "This is like Dick Turpin being caught with his hands down the motorists' pocket.
"It's disgraceful that the council, one of the largest in the country, could stoop to that sort of activity ~ announcing it surreptitiously on the internet and sending out its scavengers to catch unsuspecting motorists."
Traffic wardens handed out a staggering 1,119 fines to motorists on single yellow lines on Good Friday and Easter Monday adding up to £134,280.
But the only warning that parking attendants would be policing single yellow lines was a tiny notice on Camden Council's website announcing that 'normal yellow line restrictions apply for the duration for the Easter period'.
One furious University College London Hospitals doctor, writing on an internet forum as DoctorDJ, said: "I was ticketed as I worked in the A&E department of UCLH treating sick children.
"I've parked on Gower Street every bank holiday (including Christmas Day and Boxing Day) and never been ticketed."
Another outraged driver, writing under the name Innocently, said: "On the Easter Bank Holiday Monday, I parked on a single yellow line at Lincoln Inn Fields, believing it was safe to do so as I have parked there before on bank holidays - only to get a ticket at around 5pm!!!
"I approached the officer who gave the ticket and asked why and he simply snapped back, 'law changed'.
"The ticket officer said I should 'look on the internet'!!!! Who looks on the internet to see if the parking law has changed?"
Motorists who paid their fines by credit or debit card will have the money automatically refunded to their account.
Others will have to apply for their money back.
Sam Monck, assistant director Public Realm and Sustainability at Camden Council, said: "Our traffic orders, relating to single yellow lines, make it clear that we can issue tickets over the bank holiday weekends.
"However in recent years, Camden has on a discretionary basis taken the decision as a gesture of goodwill not to issue parking tickets to cars parked on single yellow lines on Good Friday and Bank Holiday Monday."
He added: "Over the Easter period this year, we did enforce parking regulations and displayed this information on our website, but realise that many motorists may have been confused by the inconsistency.
"Given the history of non-enforcement we have taken the decision to cancel or refund any parking tickets issued on Good Friday and Easter Monday."
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