posted 1 year ago

Council To Pay Back Hundreds Of Parking Fines

Council to pay back hundreds of drivers fined for displaying parking tickets face down that could not be read by traffic warden.

Drivers Fined For Having Parking Ticket Face Down To Be Paid Back

Canterbury City Council is to pay back hundreds of motorists it fined for having parking tickets face down that could not be read by traffic wardens. This change of policy follows a ruling at a tribunal that the council cannot reject a motorist's appeal if the parking ticket effectively fell over. This could set a precedent that has implications for other authorities which is interesting considering such car parks are known as “pay AND display”, not simply “pay”. A parking ticket can easily fall out of place. It might, for example, slide off the windscreen thanks to condensation, or blow out of position as the driver shuts the door.

James Walker is the founder of the customer complaint assistance service He told the Mirror: "Canterbury City Council's decision to change its policy on fines for flipped-over parking tickets shows how important it is to challenge a parking fine if you think it has been handed out unfairly.” Mr Walker continued: “If you can prove that you did have a valid parking ticket - or if you didn't pay but should have that there was a valid reason - you should always raise an appeal with the issuing authority.”

Grounds To Appeal A Parking Ticket

An authority might cancel a parking ticket for a wide range of reasons. There is the three minute rule, for example. This defence applies to a motorist that parks and is fined while paying for a ticket. Poor instructions play a role too. Grounds for appeal include signs that are not clear, not visible, or incorrect. The blue badge is also a get out of jail free card. This enables the motorist to park – for free – in pay and display car parks and close to meters. A blue badge vehicle cannot be clamped. Consider public holidays too. Some areas provide free parking on bank holidays, so a wrongly issued fine can be questioned on this basis. 

A parking ticket might also be cancelled due to mitigating circumstances. Perhaps the vehicle broke down, for example. Alternatively the motorist might have: stopped to clear debris from the road, be dealing with an emergency, suffering a recent bereavement, attending a funeral or dropping off a patient at hospital. Furthermore, the council is likely to take a sympathetic view if the vehicle was stolen. The motorist, after all, cannot fairly be held responsible for an offence committed by a thief. Evidence to back-up such claims should be provided (when possible).