Saturday, June 27, 2009

This why signing MUST comply with the law ... the clock is ticking

When it comes to signing law nearly is not good enough. Stephen Sauvain QC representing Sunderland recently stated in the High Court in relation to another signing issue, that 'no-one could be misled by the meaning of a restriction.'

Adjudicators have also repeatedly chanted the mantra that 'it looks like a road sign or a bay and it is clear in its meaning therefore no-one could have been misled as to its intent.'

If we look at the series of photographs (left and below) it shows a loading bay and also zig-zags. Applying the philosophy and argument from those described above one would think that it is okay to park where indicated for the purposes of loading. No-one could be misled.
However, the zig-zag restriction runs from middle of the road to the building line meaning that motorists are being actively encouraged to park on the zig-zags and in doing so obstruct the field of vision for pedestrian and motorist alike. Now who is being misled?

The Department for Transport have confirmed that this is not allowed (not to mention the fact that the Loading Only bay is also incorrectly marked).

We have signing law for a reason ... and must it take a serious accident or fatality before Sunderland City Council officers reckless indifference to their legal responsibilities strikes home? This is the tip of the iceberg in Sunderland but perhaps the most serious example of their disregard for the law and failure to act.

The Department for Transport despite repeated requests have been indifferent to say the least. Ward councillors and the Leader of the Council have been put on notice as has local MPs Bill Etherington and Chris Mullin.
The photograph on the left shows a near miss and many more incidents involving pedestrians and motorists occur on a regular basis.

However, Lord Adonis now has the matter sitting on his desk and the Sunderland Echo have made the issue very public indeed.
Let us hope that nothing serious happens as the clock ticks ...
A copy of the letter is shown below the article.

Minister reads plea for safety

Sunderland Echo
Published Date: 25 June 2009
By James Johnston

A parking campaigner has written to new Transport Secretary Lord Adonis in a bid to boost safety on a Sunderland road.
Neil Herron took the step after he learnt of a series of near misses in Sea Road, Fulwell, in recent months. The businessman, of The Westlands, said it was a matter of time before there was a fatality there. Children regularly using a crossing are hidden by vehicles parked in loading bays behind zig-zag lines, he said, and the vision of both pedestrians and the drivers can be severely restricted.

In the letter to the Department for Transport (DfT), Mr Herron writes: "A situation exists where non-prescribed loading bays have been placed behind the zig-zags."It is something which continues to cause real concern and, despite raising the matter repeatedly with the highway authority, it is still being ignored."Requests have also been made to the Department for Transport for their intervention before someone is killed at this location, but those requests also seem to be treated with indifference, despite the DfT having powers to intervene."
Mr Herron is also fighting a personal battle against a number of parking fines. He runs Boldon-based Parking Appeals Ltd, a company which helps those who feel they have been on the wrong end of a parking attendant's decision.

In the letter to former rail minister Lord Adonis, who was promoted to Transport Secretary earlier this month, Mr Herron added: "I wish to place the Sea Road matter openly on the record with you personally in your position as the Secretary of State for Transport, in order to rectify the situation as a matter of urgency."

Mr Herron says he is due to hold a meeting with the DfT to discuss the issue.

Lord Adonis Secretary of State for Transport
House of LordsLondonSW1A 0PW
22nd June 2009
Subject: URGENT ... Safety Hazard at Sea Road, Sunderland

Dear Lord Adonis,

A situation exists at the above location where non-prescribed Loading Bays have been placed behind the zig-zags. It is something which continues to cause real concern, and, despite raising the matter repeatedly with the Highway Authority (Sunderland City Council) it is still being ignored. Requests have also been made to the Department for Transport for their intervention before someone is killed at this location but those requests also seem to be treated with indifference, despite the DfT having powers to intervene. John Munns at the Department for Transport has however confirmed that there has been no authorisation for the use of the road markings and plates at this restriction (see attached).

Therefore, I wish to place the matter openly on the record with you personally in your position as the Secretary of State for Transport, in order to rectify the situation as a matter of urgency, and wish for the Highway Authority (SCC) to be informed without delay that the restriction is unlawful and that it must be removed from the highway forthwith.The restriction at this location is not prescribed in law and it has been confirmed that it has not been authorised by the Secretary of State. Therefore, I wish to draw to your attention the following (my emphasis):

Chapter 1 Traffic Signs Manual - Use of Non-prescribed ‘Illegal’ signs.Part 3. Legal Aspects and Responsibilities for Signs1.18 The use on Public highways of non-prescribed signs which have not been authorised by, or on behalf of, the Secretary of State, is illegal and Authorities who so use unauthorised signs act beyond their powers. Additionally, an unauthorised sign in the highway is an obstruction. The possible consequences of erecting or permitting the erection of obstructions may be severe and those responsible could lay themselves open to a claim for damages……
1.20 Authorities should consider requiring the removal of any object or device erected privately on land adjacent to their roads which has the apparent or express intention of guiding, warning or directing road users. In addition, private advertisements should not resemble or incorporate prescribed traffic signs on their symbols. United Kingdom signs are crown copyright and may not be reproduced without permission. In no circumstances will the Department permit the use of traffic signs on advertisements at roadside locations. When prescribed traffic signs are used illegally action should be taken to secure their removal.

I am aware of a number of near misses and it is only a matter of time before there is a fatality at this unlawfully signed location. The frustration is that certain officers at Sunderland City Council appear to think that signing law does not apply to them and this cavalier attitude and reckless indifference to their legal duties applies to other areas in the City, but it can be seen from Chapter 1 of the Traffic Signs Manual Part 3 1.18 that not only are they acting unlawfully they are doing so in the full knowledge that their actions are unlawful.

Meanwhile, school children regularly using this crossing are hidden by vehicles parked in loading bays behind the zig-zags. Both the pedestrians and the drivers view can be obstructed by vehicles ‘encouraged’ to park behind zig-zags.

I would appreciate your intervention and have copied this in to the press and media to make the public fully aware before someone is killed at this unlawfully marked location. I am sure that you will be aware that under
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 if a person to whom a duty of care is owed (member of the public who relies on Council Officers and the Highway Authority to ensure that restrictions placed on the highway are lawful) is killed then that death could be seen to be due to management failures which amount to a gross breach of the “relevant duty of care”. I wish for you, as the Secretary of State to be fully aware of Sunderland’s repeated avoidance of my requests and refusal to act and therefore fully responsible for any consequences of that failure to act, and that responsibility also resides with you as the Secretary of State.

I have also copied in senior executives at the City Council in order for them to be fully aware of the potential corporate and personal consequences for failing to act, as well as various elected representatives both locally and nationally.

I will make available all communications on this matter on request should you require them.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Herron

Tel. 0191 5195932
Mob. 07776202045

cc. Chris Mullin MPcc. Bill Etherington MP
cc. Lord Lucas
cc. Dave Smith, Chief Executive, Sunderland City Council
cc. Councillor Paul Watson, Leader
cc. Councillor Colin Wakefield
cc. Councillor George Howe
cc. Councillor Bob Francis
cc. Councillor John Walton
cc. Earl Belshaw, Parking Services
cc. Burney Johnson, Head of Transport and Engineering.
cc. Phil Barrett, Director of Development and Regeneration
cc. Richard Bentley RMB Consulting
cc. John Munns, Graham Hanson Department for Transport
cc. Oliver Mishcon, barrister
cc. James Johnston, Peter Jeffrey, Ross Robertson, Sunderland Echo
cc. Sara Nichol, Newcastle Journal
cc. Tony Kearney, Northern Echo
cc. BBC North East News

More refunds to come ... this time Leicester City Council

If they are marking the bays 'so that they are clearer' according to the council's statement then there should be no alteration to the format. Anyone with pre and post photographs please forward them. We are building up evidence against many authorities.
Thanks also to council officials and Civil Enforcement Officers who continue to forward information of deliberate misconduct by colleagues. We can reassure you and others that such matters will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Drivers may get tickets refund over parking bay errors
Leicester Mercury
Wednesday, June 24, 2009,

Drivers given parking tickets may be able to claim a refund after it emerged the wrong measurements had been used for parking bays.
Leicester City Council workers are remarking many of the 240 bays in the city centre.
However, the authority has insisted it is only doing the work to make the bays clearer, and not because they are wrong.
It comes after a driver successfully appealed against a ticket he was given in a loading bay in the city because, he said, the dimensions of the space did not meet legal requirements.
The Leicester Mercury carried out its own checks on five random bays in the St George's area and found all were incorrectly marked out.

Under the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions Act 2002, lines marking out a pay-and-display bay must be 60cm long.
However, a slight leeway is allowed with gaps of a minimum of 60cm and maximum of 90cm between each one. However, in the city centre, several are not marked out in that way, which experts say makes them unenforceable. Therefore, tickets handed out are invalid.
See measures for Pay and Display bays
Measures for Disabled bays
Measures for split Pay and display bays
The council. however, said if the experts' comments led people to believe they could get their parking fines overturned, that would be "raising expectations which will almost certainly prove to be unreasonable".

Richard Bentley, a former North Yorkshire police officer, is now an expert witness on the issue.
He said: "The format for parking bays is set out in law and those laws cannot be ignored.
"A mistake in law means any money they have taken in those bays has to be repaid. Any tickets issued must also be repaid.
"Put simply, if the lines are wrong the fine is wrong."
Mr Bentley said there was no time limited on appealing against tickets handed out in incorrect bays.
It is not known how many people might be able to claim refunds on tickets given since the city took over parking from the police in January, 2007, but it could be thousands.

Between July 2007 and July 2008, the latest figures show more than 62,000 fines were issued in the city and drivers handed over about £2.7m.
It is also not clear how many of the bays are incorrectly marked, but the council said it was repainting up to 95 per cent.
The bays in question are disabled spaces, loading bays and on-street pay-and-display spaces.
City council traffic manager Andy Thomas said: "A person argued a loading bay was incorrectly marked. It was not contested because the issue was ambiguous and not because we recognised we were wrong.
"This work has not been prompted by any appeal.
"My main concern is all bays are clearly and accurately marked. While we are repainting, we will also check they are correct."

Mr Thomas said if any bay was wrong – adding he did not know of any – the council could rebuff appeals because there was "clear intent" to police parking.

Parking rule expert Barrie Segal, founder of which has successfully appealed 50,000 parking tickets across the country, said that argument was "rubbish".
He said: "This argument that because there is intent to police bays, even if they are wrong, is the same rubbish councils trot out in these situations."
Mr Segal said the fact the council did not contest the appeal against the loading bay ticket "shows there is clearly something a miss".
He said: "They are measuring andItalic remarking all of them, which suggests to me they are not sure if they are right.''

When the Mercury put its measurements and the arguments of the parking experts to the council, a spokesman said: "If people feel they have been harshly treated, our advice is that they should register a complaint via the council's normal complaints procedure."

PAID A PCN in an incorrectly marked bay?
Click on here to open up a Leicester City Council complaint form

Complaint text:
It appears that the bay in which I received my Penalty Charge Notice was not marked in accordance with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002. The use of non-prescribed signs is unlawful and therefore all monies derived from such a mistake in law are recoverable under the principle established in Woolwich Equitable Building Society v The Inland Revenue Commissioners [1993].
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I would like copies of any internal communications the council holds with regard to the enforcement of non-prescribed bays and the instructions (including copies of any TSRGD 2002 drawings) given to contractors detailing what 'corrections' are to be undertaken.
Under the Data Protection Act I would like details of all PCNs issued to my vehicle(s) including any Parking Attendant or Civil Enforcement Officer notes, and any information the council holds on known signing deficiencies in the areas where my PCN(s) was/were issued.
Resolution text:
I would like a full refund of all monies paid for all PCNs issued to vehicle registration number...................(insert vehicle reg in bays which were not marked in accordance with TSRGD 2002 details)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Motorists are about to bite back ... as predicted.

...and as they prepare to do so more evidence is coming in from council officers and parking enforcement personnel detailing what can only be described as unlawful activity. We can accept people making mistakes ... but as soon as that mistake is spotted and covered up to allow unlawful enforcement to continue then that is when it becomes criminal.

We understand that a number of Police forces are going to be forced to initiate criminal investigations once evidence is placed before them.

Refunds to come in Camden, Kingston, Harrow and Merton for motorists who have been penalised with unlawful PCNs.

All of this was forecast in the last Tonight Special we did following the introduction of the 2004 Traffic Management Act on 31st March 2008. All the councils who have thought that they were above the law need to think again.

Whistleblowers ... keep the information coming.

On the unlawful credit card charges issued by the four London Boroughs named above ... it is understood that London Council's Nick Lester has reminded councils that they must not levy such charges. It follows that if such charges are unlawful then, according to Mr. Lester

Another one bites the dust Merton Council

Another Council guilty of adding an unlawful Credit Card surcharge to their Penalty Charge Notice. We will help you get you money back for any PCNs paid in Camden, Merton, Harrow and Kingston. Just e-mail for more information.

Meanwhile, since we went live on the BBC last week another council has confirmed that it has suspended its credit card charge. Merton Council's press release is below (seems that they have missed a bit ... the bit about how you get your money back!) :

Merton Council suspends credit card surcharges
12 June 2009

Merton Council has suspended its credit card surcharges on Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for parking and bus lane offences. This follows concerns raised by the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) about the legality of a 1.35% surcharge added to all credit card payments of PCNs. The council introduced credit card surcharges on the 15 April this year to recover costs imposed by the credit card companies. In addition to using a credit card, those looking to pay their Penalty Charge Notice can also pay with cash, cheque or debit card.

Paying within 14 days of receiving the penalty charge notice reduces the charge by half.

Information on paying parking Penalty Charge Notices can be found at:

Merton Council's cabinet member for finance and regeneration Councillor Diane Neil Mills said: "As soon as we learned of the potential problem concerning the surcharges, we took action and suspended surcharges on credit card payments for Penalty Charge Notices for parking and bus lane offences. We are investigating the situation with urgency and would ask everyone to bear with us as we work on the necessary next steps.'

Chideock Speed Camera Refunds

For all those who think that you are not entitled to refunds when a Traffic Order is defective read the press release below ...

Meanwhile, just a reminder to all those councils who regularly read this blog ... Regulation 18 Local Authority Traffic Order Procedures ... if your signs are not correct then your traffic order is not in force. All monies derived from unlawfully marked locations will have to be refunded. The Chideock case wipes out the myth that is chanted regularly by Council press officers and Nick Lester of London Councils ... 'that if you paid the ticket you accepted the contravention.'

WRONG ... and more and more motorists are ready to start legal actions for restitution.

Chideock Speed Camera Partnership Update

Chideock Update - 19th June 2009


Technicality in the Traffic Regulation Order Relating
to the A35 in Chideock, West Dorset
This announcement follows the case of Regina v Dawe (see ‘Notes to Editors’ for details) and the Crown Court judgment that the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) relating to the village of Chideock in West Dorset was defective due to a historical clerical error in the street name in the TRO.

The Dorset Safety Camera Partnership (DSCP) can confirm that it has secured agreement regarding dealing with speeding offences detected by the safety camera monitoring westbound traffic on the A35 in Chideock prior to 2007.
Each case will be reviewed individually and may result in motorists detected travelling over 30mph on the westbound safety camera in Chideock, prior to 2007, having the fixed penalty payment from this offence refunded and the related penalty points removed from their driving licence, if still valid.

Adrian Whiting, Assistant Chief Constable for Dorset Police and the Chair of the Dorset Strategic Road Safety Partnership, comments:
"Chideock is a small rural community with a main road running through the middle of the village and we are reassured that no one has tried to suggest that the speed limit should be anything other than 30mph.
"During the period this safety camera has been in operation it will have reduced drivers’ speeds through the village by acting as a deterrent, which will have helped to safeguard the safety of the people who live in Chideock and other road users. The public should be reassured by the fact that a new TRO is in place and the DSCP has recommenced enforcement there."
The DSCP will be writing to all drivers affected, to inform them of the situation and outline the process to follow if they wish to have their fixed penalty refunded and the related penalty points removed from their driving licence if still valid. Details of the process to follow if drivers think their offence is affected are available on the DSCP website –

The Dorset Safety Camera Partnership remains focused on working together to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on Dorset’s roads as a consequence of both excess and inappropriate speed.
Media Enquiries - please contact Nikki Haine or Matt McKenna on 01425 472330 or email

Background information on the issues relating to the A35 westbound in Chideock and the Crown Court case of Regina v Dawe:
1. In 1997 a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) relating to the village of Chideock, West Dorset was arranged. The order defined a length of the A35 westbound as subject to a 30mph speed limit. This was necessary as that stretch of road does not have a system of street lighting.
2. The text of the order referred to the A35 junction with "Seatown Road". This was a mistake as the road was then, and still is, correctly named "Duck Street".
3. At approximately 23:15hrs on the 27th October 2005 Mr Dawe was detected speeding by a fixed safety camera, travelling west in the village of Chideock. He was travelling at 41mph in a lorry, passing the houses where the safety camera is located and approaching the village Pubs. He has never disputed this speed, nor suggested it was sensible to drive that fast in the built-up area of the village.
4. He appealed his conviction on the grounds that the 30mph speed limit signs were not of the proper form. On the 26th October 2007 the Crown Court sitting at Dorchester found that the TRO was defective due to the road name issue, and thus the 30mph speed limit could not be enforced at that point on the A35 westbound. Accordingly the Court did not need to assess Mr Dawe’s actual grounds for appeal, and no finding on them was made.
5. Following the Crown Court judgement the organisations which make up the Dorset Safety Camera Partnership have been working with the appropriate Government departments to determine whether this judgement applies to other cases and agree an appropriate process for dealing with these offences.
The Dorset Safety Camera Partnership
The Dorset Safety Camera Partnership, which was set up in August 2002, constitutes a partnership between Dorset County Council, Borough of Poole Council, Bournemouth Borough Council, Dorset Police, NHS South West, Highways Agency, Her Majesty’s Courts Service and the Crown Prosecution Service.
The Partnership, through a combination of measures including education, engineering and enforcement, is working together to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on Dorset’s roads, as a consequence of both excess and inappropriate speed. It is responsible for the operation and maintenance of fixed site, mobile and red-light junction cameras throughout Dorset.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Massive boost for motorists against unlawful parking fines

High Court boost for Sunderland parking campaigner
Sunderland Echo ... 16 June 2009
By Jane O'Neill

Parking campaigner Neil Herron has been given a boost in his legal battle.
The Sunderland businessman claims parking restrictions in Sunderland city centre are unlawful and has taken the matter to London's High Court.Mr Herron, of The Westlands, is fighting a personal battle against a number of parking fines.He also
runs Parking Appeals Ltd, a company which helps those who feel they have been on the wrong end of a parking attendant's decision.

Now a High Court judge has given him permission to continue his fight against what he claims are illegal parking restrictions. Speaking after the hearing, Mr Herron said he was ready for a "David and Goliath" struggle. "This is fantastic news, not just for Sunderland, but for UK motorists who are facing an uphill struggle against local authorities." Finally we have this matter before the highest court in the land and we are looking forward to a judicial ruling on matters that many, many motorists have complained about."

Lawyers for Mr Herron – whose company has registered the personalised number plate F1 NED – yesterday argued that Sunderland city centre's Controlled Parking Zone was unlawful.

Barrister Oliver Mischon, for Mr Herron, also said that the National Parking Appeals Service, where Mr Herron has attempted to have decisions of Sunderland City Council overturned, has the "appearance of bias". He said that Mr Herron's right to a fair trial – as enshrined by Article 6 of the Human Rights Act – had been violated. Mr Mischon told the court that, under the strict letter of the law, controlled parking zones are not allowed to have certain line markings or signage. It is Mr Mischon's case that, because those "signs and lines" are in place in Sunderland, parking restrictions governed by the use of single yellow lines are "unenforceable". Describing controlled parking zones as "extremely confusing", Mr Mischon added that they have been put in place all over the country in a bid to tackle cars being parked in residential areas, but have left many motorists fuming because restrictions are not clearly set out. The barrister added that the National Parking Appeals Service was not "independent and impartial" because it represented every local authority with controlled parking zones, including Sunderland City Council.

Expressing "real doubts" about its independence, Mr Mischon added that it was funded by money raised by parking fines.Mr Justice Keith agreed that Mr Herron had an "arguable" case and granted him permission to pursue his judicial review challenge at a more in-depth hearing, a date for which has yet to be set.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

CAMDEN ...Many parking tickets 'unlawful' BBC reports

Many parking tickets 'unlawful'
BBC News24
Thursday 11th June 2009

Thousands of drivers in London may be affected by the ruling
Thousands of parking tickets paid by credit card could be cancelled after a council's charges were ruled unlawful.
Camden Council has been charging 1.3% extra for tickets paid by credit card.
But a firm claimed the extra charge is unfair - and the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (Patas) agreed, saying the entire ticket should be cancelled.
The ruling could also affect the boroughs of Harrow and Merton, which also charge extra to pay tickets by credit card. Camden Council may appeal.

Harrow has been charging people extra to use credit card for 18 months.

Camden Council are behaving like the Sherriff of Nottingham
Richard Chaumerton, driver

In January, London General Transport Services Limited was given a £120 penalty charge notice by Camden Council.
But the company appealed, claiming it was unfair to charge an extra 1.3% for a ticket that they had no choice but to pay.
Patas adjudicator Henry Greenslade agreed.
Referring to the rules by which councils must abide, he said: "The words 'authorities cannot justify applying surcharges in relation to credit cards' could not be clearer.
"Authorities cannot justify applying surcharges for their use."

'Could be challenged'
He added: "I find the penalty charge in this case did exceed the amount applicable - accordingly, this appeal must be allowed."
If Camden Council is unsuccessful with its appeal, every fine paid by credit card since the 1.3% charge began in January could be challenged.

The council has given out £26m in parking fines this year.

Neil Herron (left) says Camden Council's "greed" may cost them dear.

Builder Richard Chaumerton, 46, from Kentish Town, north west London, is challenging five tickets which he paid by credit card.

He said: "It's a disgusting, vexatious state of affairs.
"Camden Council are behaving like the Sherriff of Nottingham - they think they can make up all these charges, regardless of what the law says."

Parking campaigner Neil Herron, also battling tickets on grounds of the credit card charge, said: "Out of greed this council has been charging an extra 1.3% - it could end up costing them £12.5 million."

A Camden Council spokeswoman said: "We sought independent legal advice when introducing credit card charges and we remain satisfied this is sound advice.
"The detail will be reviewed by our lawyers and the council will take a decision once we have received advice.
"In the interim, Camden has stopped the credit card fee."

Camden, Merton, Kingston and Harrow have now withhdrawn the Credit Card Surcharge. If you have had a Penalty Charge Notice in any of these boroughs and want to know more and want to know whether you can get a refund just drop us an e-mail at

NB. You need not have paid by credit card to seek a refund.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Car parking fiasco...want your money back?

Anybody who has been fined and wants more information contact

The Comet

A PARKING attendant firm has continued to charge fees and issue fines at a town centre car park despite their contractors going bust six months ago.

The car park at the back of Woolworths in Hitchin has continued to be run by Euro Car Parks (ECP) despite the former retailer going into administration in January and closing the store. Deloitte, Woolworths' administrators, said ECP no longer has a contract to operate on the site. Deloitte spokesman, Harry Cazi, said: "I spoke to Euro Car Parks today (Tuesday). We have certainly not instructed them to do this. I told them that we don't require their services." Angry Hitchin worker, Wayne Scott, contacted The Comet after his fiancée was asked by an attendant whether she had a ticket.

He said he saw two other people being fined and asked the attendant whether the company still had a contract to work there.

He said: "They are basically scamming people. They shouldn't be working there at all. They are lining their pockets at a time when people can't afford it."

Jim Hunter, director at Gatwards jewellery shop in Market Place, said his colleague Lisa Gatward was fined £50 by ECP in April after not buying a ticket.

He said: "We thought because Woolworths had gone there would be nobody taking money. If they are taking money illegally they should give it back. It is morally wrong, if nothing else." Les Knight, business director at ECP, said he was not aware that parking attendants were still enforcing the regulations, despite acknowledging they still had a working ticket machine and enforcement signs across the car park.

He said: "The agreement with Woolworths was never terminated. We never got an official order to close. We only received an email from the administrators this morning (Wednesday).

"I remember I had a conversation with a colleague, as the new owners are not agreeing anything. I'm a bit surprised actually - it's not what you'd call a big earner anyway.

"We certainly don't have a constant site presence. But we are in business to make money - as all businesses are - I'm not ashamed to say that."

When asked if there was a way drivers could get their money back, Mr Knight said: "No, not really. There are terms and conditions displayed."

The Comet was asked for a breakdown of how much money ECP had taken from the site since Woolworths closed, but we had not received this before going to press.

The company said it had ceased operations on the site as of yesterday (Wednesday) and will remove the ticket machine and signs as a matter of priority.

Over 25,000 parking fines overturned

BBC News
More than 25,000 parking tickets have been successfully challenged since NCP (now known as NSL) took over parking enforcement in NI, it has emerged.
The figure equates to 7.8% of the 327,267 tickets given out between November 2006 and December 2008.
Almost 39,000 of these tickets were challenged and the challenge was accepted in 25,484 cases.
The most common reasons for successful challenges were the production of a valid parking ticket or a Blue-Badge.
The figures were released by Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy in response to an Assembly question tabled by DUP MLA Simon Hamilton.
The Strangford representative said people should be aware of their right to appeal a parking ticket.
"Through constituency experience and working with people in the local area, I encouraged many of them who I felt had been unfairly treated to challenge, and was noticing a fair few were actually having their appeals upheld," he said.
"I find it interesting that just quite so many people who are challenging are actually finding that the ticket is overturned."
Tim Cowen of NSL said the vast vast majority of successful appeals concerned mitigating circumstances that attendants couldn't have known about.
He added that Roads Service, who run the appeals process, show "a great deal of discretion."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Camden Parking Refunds ......

BBC News reports 'Many Parking Fines 'unlawful' '

Builder Richard Chaumeton states:
"Camden Council are behaving like the Sherriff of Nottingham"

Looks like the motorsists now have their own Robin Hood.

The question is now 'Will Camden Council do the decent thing and refund everyone who has been fined unlawfully?'

Camden's parking tickets ruled illegal


Camden’s Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) have been ruled unlawful in a recent adjudication due to the fact that they levied a 1.3% Credit Card Surcharge.

We will supply subscribers to with a FULL DEFENCE (100% money back guarantee on your subscription if we are not successful) for PCNs issued since 5th January 2009 to 10th June 2009.
Some of the PCNs issued AFTER that will also be invalid as Camden are continuing to use old paperwork despite the fact that they suspended the charge on 9th June 2009.
Here is an extract from the Parking And Traffic Appeals Service decision:

And here is an extract from the legislation …


Whether you have paid by credit card, cheque or cash we will assist you with recovering your money whether you are a business or individual. Simply contact us at or e-mail titled 'CAMDEN PCN'


Friday, June 05, 2009


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Croydon Council parking team caught breaking rule they were enforcing

How many more councils have to be exposed before someone takes action?
There needs to be a change in the legislation to have an independent watchdog with powers to censure and fine local authorities where necessary to prevent this licensed mugging!

This is Croydon
Croydon Council parking team caught breaking rule they were enforcing
Saturday, May 16, 2009

Council parking spies have been blasted as hypocrites for breaking the very rules they were supposed to be enforcing.
A car with a CCTV camera attached to the roof parked on double yellow lines - to try and catch drivers illegally parked on double yellow lines.
The Croydon Council Smart car was caught in central Croydon by shopkeeper Praduman Bhimjiani.
His photographic evidence prompted the council's parking chief to brand the behaviour "unacceptable".

Councillor Phil Thomas explained that council staff were undertaking surveillance work after complaints from a bus company that people were parking on double yellow lines in the road, making it difficult for buses to manoeuvre around them.

He said: "We will investigate the complaint that we were doing it illegally."
But he admitted the evidence appeared damning and added: "We've got to hold our hands up."

Mr Bhimjiani runs NN Confectioners, in Park Street, where the picture was taken - and where he himself was given two parking tickets in January.
The 55-year-old, from Ellesmere Drive, Sanderstead said: "We get a lot of hassle from these people.
"It's not fair on the public really because it's just generating revenue for the council.
"It's also hypocritical. They shouldn't be parking on a double yellow line."

Mr Bhimjiani believes the council should not be excused from breaking the rules.
"If the law is for everybody they should get the penalty as well," he said.

Cllr Thomas confirmed the CCTV car had been in Park Street at around 10.30am last Wednesday (May 6) when the photo was taken.
He added: "It's not acceptable for our staff to be parking on double yellow lines when we ask the public not to do it themselves."

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