Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Press Coverage of CPZ High Court Case ...Daily Express

Daily Express Wednesday May 19,2010
By David Pilditch
A CRUSADING market trader yesterday launched a High Court battle that could “blow apart” Britain’s parking laws.

PARKING: Neil Herron outside the High Court

Neil Herron, 47, is fighting a crucial test case which if he wins could throw into doubt the validity of millions of pounds worth of parking tickets. And it could see drivers applying to have fines overturned.

His lawyers argue that millions of tickets have been issued illegally in towns and cities. Local authorities were accused of unlawfully setting up a system designed to confuse drivers and generate huge incomes.

If successful it would abolish controlled parking zones – known as CPZs – around the UK.Mr Herron’s crusade to challenge the nation’s parking regulations began over a £60 parking fine issued five years ago.

He has spent £100,000 fighting the case, forced to re- mortgage his home in Sunderland and sell his £20,000 Nissan Navara car. But yesterday he insisted his “David and Goliath” battle was the only way to overturn Britain’s draconian parking legislation.

Standing on the steps of London’s Royal Courts of Justice, he said: “Many people have paid a parking ticket that they feel is unjust because of the potential cost of appealing it.“Effectively I have spent £100,000 on a £60 parking ticket but that is what it takes to make a stand on a point of principle.”

Mr Herron, who led the Metric Martyrs campaign to allow shopkeepers to continue to sell goods in pounds and ounces, is contesting 39 penalty notices issued by Sunderland City Council in a CPZ, which he claims is not being operated within the law.

The zones allow authorities to mark roads with single yellow lines without having to put up signs nearby stating when enforcement is in place. Instead, information is given only at the entrances to the zones.

Mr Herron’s barrister, Alun Jones QC, said that Department of Transport documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests supported their arguments that the special zones did not comply with the law because they are too large.

Mr Jones said confusion to motorists and generates a significant amount of income which would be taken away from local authorities if our submissions are right.“If people are not confused they won’t commit so many infringements and you won’t get so many penalties and enforcements.”

He told the hearing regulations state CPZs cease to be valid if they include other markings such as crossings and taxi ranks. Mr Justice Bean responded: “This probably applies to every CPZ in the country doesn’t it? If you’re right the CPZ is effectively abolished.”

The judge later went on to say that if he accepted issues raised, “I may be blowing the whole traffic regime to bits”.

Sunderland City Council insists the CPZ is legal. Stephen Sauvain QC, for the council, said: “There is no suggestion that any motorist was confused or capable of being confused or unsure as to the nature of the parking restrictions.”

He said there would be “severe adverse consequences” for local authorities if Mr Herron won. Mr Justice Bean reserved judgment until a later date.

No comments:

Blog Archive

only search Neil Herron Blog