Some local councils are rejecting far too many challenges to parking fines, Which? reports today.
The number of parking fines overturned at appeal stage – many often uncontested by the council – means it is worth persevering if the initial challenge is rejected.
When Which? Head of News Liz Edwards challenged an unfair ticket, Lambeth Council rejected her challenge twice.
It also sent her an unjustified demand for £150 and threatened her with bailiffs.
Liz won uncontested at appeal and later discovered that Lambeth Council had sent out 8,000 wrong demands for money, with the threat of bailiffs, this year.
The London borough blamed an IT ‘glitch’. It said the problem was now fixed and it was refunding the 212 people who had paid.
Appeal Now, a campaign group which helps people challenge parking fines, says that in half the appeals won by drivers the council failed to offer evidence, which suggests the tickets should already have been cancelled.
In 2005, more than 60 per cent of appeals in the London boroughs of Hackney, Hillingdon and Southwark were won by the driver, uncontested by the council.
In contrast, Stockport Council, which says it tries to resolve challenges in-house, gave 23,000 tickets yet had no formal appeals.
Which? Editor Neil Fowler said: ‘Some councils seem all too ready to give parking fines, but far more reluctant when it comes to cancelling the ones that aren’t justified – perhaps with one eye on their income.
‘Many motorists will simply give in and pay up, but if you think a parking ticket is unjustified it’s well worth challenging it and, if the challenge is rejected, appealing the decision.’
If you think a parking ticket is unfair, challenge the council. If it rejects you, follow advice from the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service for London and the National Parking Adjudication Service for the rest of Britain.
Or take a look at our guide to appealing a parking ticket.