Tuesday, July 27, 2010


PR Fire

Submitted by Barrie Segal on 05 July 2010

Camden Council found guilty by parking adjudicator of failing to make a full disclosure of evidence to motorists when their parking tickets were appealed to the parking Adjudicator. As a result the parking tickets in the case were cancelled!

In a landmark parking tickets decision a Parking Adjudicator has held that Camden Council have acted unlawfully and failed to make full disclosure of evidence to motorists when cases are submitted to the Parking Adjudicator.

In a case brought about by parking ticket expert Barrie Segal, founder of the parking tickets website http://www.appealnow.com/ on behalf of clients Barrie argued that the council had removed evidence from the evidence bundle which was required to be sent to all motorists appealing to the Parking Adjudicator. Barrie said: " Parking Tickets are an everyday hazard but when council issue parking tickets and act unfairly this is not acceptable."

The decision (Case 2100216116 Hizer -v- Camden) states;-

Mr Segal represents the Appellant and argues that the authority has not served a complete set of case papers to him and that prejudice has arisen and non-compliance with established Parking and Traffic Appeals Service directions.

The decision goes on to say:

I find that the authority has not complied with this direction, and that there has been prejudice to the Appellant by the failure to make full disclosure; this is especially so when the authority is aware that an Appellant is represented.

The appeal is allowed

Barrie says, I have complained for months about the way Camden Council deal with parking tickets when the appeal goes before an adjudicator. There have been cases where evidence in the form of copy parking tickets supplied to the adjudicator but not submitted to the motorist have been different from the original parking tickets received by the motorist (Case 2090479625 Hilton -v- Camden)

He went on to say, "When it comes to parking tickets it is not surprising in my view that Camden was the council with the lowest percwentage of winning appellants (34%) at the Parking Adjudicator. The council's scandalous behaviour in this case, I have now won demonstrates that motorists have been treated unfairly particularly where they have relied on the paperwork received from the council. I believe that motorists who have lost cases at the Parking Adjudicator relating to their parking tickets and have not received the full evidence can seek a refund from Camden Council.

Camden issued more than 320,000 parking tickets in 2009 compared to 404,000 parking tickets in 2008.

‘Spy’ car brings in fines of £40,000

How long before stealthy CCTV Smart Cars go the way of the Cowboy Clampers?

The Bolton News

08 July 2010
More than 1,600 motorists have paid out almost £40,000 in fines in just five months after being caught parking illegally by a council Smart car kitted out with CCTV.
The Bolton council "spy" vehicle was introduced to catch parents who cause parking problems outside schools during drop-off and pick-up times.

It is also aimed at those who park in keep-clear zones outside schools, on single and double-yellow lines and on loading restrictions.

But six times as many motorists have been fined for parking offences away from schools after being caught on the spy car's 3.6 metre extendable cameras.

According to Big Brother Watch, an off-shoot of the pressure group The Taxpayers' Alliance, the vehicle is being used to make money for the council. A new report by the group claims that between November 2 - when the car hit the road - and March 31 the car gathered evidence to issue tickets to 1,631 motorists.

That brought in £39,495 in fines - just £13,405 less than the authority paid for the hi-tech vehicle.
The CCTV Smart car is equipped with two DVD writers that can produce instant evidence discs.
Last night, Town Hall chiefs heralded the Smart car a success.

A council spokesman said: " We brought in the CCTV Smart car to deal with problem areas and safety issues raised by residents and businesses, and it has proved very successful in doing this.
"For instance, 222 notices have been issued outside schools through the car, seven on pedestrian crossings, and 1,251 on loading restrictions put in place to address safety issues."

Nationally, information obtained by Big Brother Watch shows that there are 54 CCTV camera cars patrolling 31 local council areas.
From April last year to March this year, these cars gathered evidence to issue just under 188,000 fines, bringing in £8 million in revenues for the local councils.

Dylan Sharpe, campaign director of Big Brother Watch said: " The CCTV Smart car represents a very dangerous escalation in Britain's surveillance society.
"The vehicles are sent out to catch people and make money, with road safety only an afterthought.
"£8 million is an eye-watering amount to take in fines. It is surely only a matter of time before more councils start using these cars. The coalition government must act now and prevent that from happening."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Richmond Council urged to pay cash from illegally marked parking bay that raked £500,000 over five years in st margarets

Richmond and Twickenham Times
By Joanna Kilvington
23rd July 2010
Richmond Council is being urged to pay back hundreds of thousands of pounds in fines after admitting a parking bay that raked in £1,400 a day was illegally marked.

The error only came to light after motorist Nigel Wise took on the council over his own £50 fine for stopping at the lucrative loading bay in St Margarets, in April – and won.

Now he says the council should reimburse every motorist who was hit in the pocket at the bay, outside Tesco Metro, over the past five years.

A Freedom of Information request by Mr Wise revealed that between May 2007 and June 2010, fines totalling £229,600 were issued to drivers caught by a CCTV camera. Taking into account the previous two years, that figure rockets to about half a million pounds.

Neil Heron, of the Motorists’ Legal Challenge Fund, backed Mr Wise’s call for drivers to be paid back.
He said: “The council has a duty to refund motorists.
“In the scheme of things it will be a very small amount of money compared to the positive value of the council of saying sorry.”
The bay became notorious after it was revealed in 2005 the council took, on average, £1,400 in parking fines per day from drivers stopping there. Unlike motorists before him however, Mr Wise, a carer, decided to carry out some detective work only to discover it did not conform to traffic marking requirements.

The motorist appealed his ticket and last Friday he received notification it had been dropped.
Richmond Council confirmed yesterday that the markings had been re-painted. However, officials are refusing to pay back the cash taken in fines from motorists.

Councillor Clare Head, the council’s cabinet member for traffic, stressed no refunds would be made.
She said: “We need to make it absolutely clear, however, that this bay has always been very clearly marked as a loading bay, something that should be obvious to any motorist.
“Recent parking adjudicator decisions make it clear that the test of signage is adequate guidance rather than exactitude, slight or trivial deviations will be disregarded.
“The road markings have now been rectified.
“The council will not be refunding penalties paid in the same bay over the last five years.
“All of these individual cases are now closed and will not be re-opened.
“We are grateful to Mr Wise for bringing the technical issue of the road markings to our attention.”
Susan Fitz-Gibbon, director of Fitz-Gibbon letting agents, in St Margarets Road, urged a rethink.
She said: “We have tenants coming to pick up keys and things all the time and they just keep getting fined.”

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Workers paint lines UNDER car

The Sun
By Guy Patrick
20th July 2010

A motorist was stunned when workmen hoisted her parked car off a street, painted double yellow lines beneath it - then replaced it complete with a PARKING TICKET.

Accountant Sally Baker, 39, left her Peugeot 206 at the side of a road for three hours after checking there were no parking restrictions in place.

But she realised something was wrong when she returned to Little Quay Street, Manchester, to find her vehicle pointing the other way.

Seconds later she spotted the freshly-painted lines - and was horrified to discover she had also been given a parking fine.

sally said: "I was absolutely astounded. I've been told they also hoisted a BMW and a Mini in an adjacent street, but I don't know if those cars got tickets as well.

"I parked up around 8.20am and cheked there were no restrictions. There were no road closures signs, no cones - nothing to suggest anything was about to happen in that road.

Parking fine warning to drivers in Reading

BBC News Berkshire
20th July 2010
A council is set to fine drivers for parking on pavements and grass verges to make up for a drop in
fines income.
Reading Council said there had been a 17% fall in the number of parking tickets issued across the borough.

It has warned drivers that a controlled parking zone could be created which would give traffic wardens new powers to issue fines.

Drivers have also been warned that they could be obstructing emergency vehicles by "inconsiderate" parking.

Verges 'chewed'

There is expected to be an initial period when drivers parking illegally in areas including East Reading, Tilehurst, Emmer Green and Caversham, will be warned before fines are issued.

Richard Willis, lead councillor for transport and strategic planning, said: "The council incurs quite a bill every year for people parking on grass verges, chewing them up and destroying the grass.
"At the moment there isn't really any council power to enfoorce this, the police have a limited power if someone has parked on the pavement but generally don't enforce it.

"What we have looked to do is to introduce a controlled parking zone which would allow traffic wardens to issue tickets to people who are parking illegally on the pavement or verges."

Monday, July 19, 2010

British drivers paying £10bn in fines

11th July 2010

Britain's drivers pay £10billion in road fines over their lifetime, a survey shows.
The 33.5 million motorists fork out an average £283each in penalties for speeding, parking fines and other minor offences over 50 years.
Londoners rack up the highest lifetime tally - £680 compared to just £90 for residents in Northern Ireland, who pay the least.
A total of 34 per cent of Britain's drivers have been fined for speeding at least once and seven per cent have been caught three or more times, revealed the survey of 1,017 motorists for esure car insurance.
Thirty-eight per cent have been handed at least one parking fine and seven per cemt have had three or more tickets.
Nationally, men are hit with £344 in fines during their driving careers compared to just £210 for women.
"Owning and running a car in the UK can be very costly, particularly with rising fuel costs. Avoidable charges for driving offences only make this more expensive," said Mike Pickard, esure's head of risk and underwriting.
"Making changes to your driving habits such as slowing down and driving more carefully will not only help make Britain's roads safer but also leave you better off financially."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

£8 million from CCTV Smartcar ... but not this one!

However, the one below will not be hitting the motorists in South Tyneside for a while ...

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