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give valuable information and advice to readers in
several areas of parking and contract law.
Edinburgh The £6.5m parking gaffe
as tickets are cancelled BRIAN DONNELLY February 15 2007
Now executives at the
council, which issues 250,000 parking tickets worth £7m
each year, are bracing themselves for a potentially
people to mount legal challenges to win back their cash, which
has already been done
The legality of the
tickets in Edinburgh first came into question in June as they
did not bear both the date of issue and date of
Tickets issued from
June 2006 were amended in accordance with the law but it emerged
yesterday that all debt owed prior to that
Sheriff officers are
being told to stop chasing all outstanding offences dating back
to decriminalisation in 1998, understood to total
A spokesman for the
council said: "We have taken external legal advice, which
has forced us to write off a number of unpaid tickets
The more immediate
issue for the council is what will happen if the law-abiding
people who paid their fines demand their money
Councils in England
have had to cancel outstanding tickets for the same reason, and
one family in London has won back all the
Campbell Deane, of
the Scottish legal firm Bannatyne Kirkwood France, believes the
most likely scenario in Edinburgh would see
executives do not believe motorists who paid their tickets are
due any cash back because they have effectively
East Herts Council cancels 3,000 parking fines
Council cancels 3,000 parking fines MORE than 3,000 parking fines issued by East Herts Council have been ‘written off’.
The decision taken on Tuesday has potentially cost the authority £190,380 in lost revenue, although there was little hope of ever recovering the money.
Of the 37,097 penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued from the start of decriminalisation in January 2005 to March last year, 3,173 remain “live” as they have not been paid.
A PCN is £60 unless the person issued with the fine pays within two weeks, in which case it is reduced to £30.
A judicial review ruled in September 2006 that PCNs are not valid unless they contain both a date of issue and date of alleged contravention.
In June 2005, aware of the parking adjudicator’s decision that led to the judicial review, the council instructed enforcement contractor Central Parking System to include the date of issue separately on PCNs.
However, a report to the executive on Tuesday stated that the instruction was not complied with until March last year. The contractor was defaulted, but the council claimed for and received only £8,190.
The report states: “This number is clearly somewhat lower than the number of PCNs identified. In the great majority of these cases, the penalty charge would still have been non-recoverable for other reasons outside of the council’s control.”
Those reasons include the reliance of data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) records, which are used to obtain a vehicle owner’s name and address.
The records may be inaccurate or vehicle owners may not notify the DVLA of a change of address, in which case the PCN would not reach the offending motorist.
The report goes on: “While the population of East Herts is more stable (and doubtless more law-abiding) than it may be in some of our cities, there will always be a small percentage of vehicles and their owners who are simply untraceable.
“A lot of effort can be put into trying to trace them. However, this can be an invalid use of officer tim e – hours spent trying to track down one motorist could mean dozens of other PCNs slipping through the net.”
My Friend John Bowling, Bowling Engineering Ltd,
Bolton UK, sent me this.