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30 per cent of residents parking schemes in Plymouth not legal: Claims flood expected

By This is Devon  |  Posted: July 05, 2010

30 per cebt of residents parjing schems in Plymouth are not legal: Flood of refund claims expected
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PARKING tickets may have been issued illegally on scores of city streets.

There are fears that Plymouth City Council could face a flood of claims for refunds after a motorist won her case at a parking adjudication hearing.

The ticket issued against the unnamed driver has been overturned because the lines were incorrectly painted more than a decade ago.

Now it has emerged that about 30 per cent of residents' parking schemes put in by Devon County Council when it still controlled transport in Plymouth are not legal.

Last week, the city council was working frantically to correct the mistake.

Under Government regulations, there should be single lines at the end of a residents' bay — but a third of the city's schemes have double lines.

Councillor Kevin Wigens, the city's Cabinet member for transport, said he first learnt of the problem in the middle of last week. Wardens were immediately stopped from issuing tickets on the problem streets.

"We corrected more than half the bays by Friday, and the rest will be done within a few days," said Mr Wigens.

He refused to comment on whether the ruling would open the floodgates for people to demand refunds of parking tickets.

But Labour city councillor Brian Vincent, who drew the attention of The Herald to the problem, said he feared that it could cost the council thousands of pounds.

Jim Aspey, who has lived in Wellington Street, Greenbank, for more than 30 years, said he was disgusted.

"You've got to have a permit and we have to pay for visitors tickets as well."

He said the lines in Wellington Street had been painted more than ten years ago. About 500 permits had been issued for only 200 bays in his area.

"When the students are here, there is nowhere to park," said Mr Aspey.

He pays £25 a year for his permit, and also buys books of tickets for visitors.

A council spokesman said: "As this issue applies to a minority of our residential bays, we continue to enforce the majority.

"All of our residential bays are clearly signed and widely understood, therefore we'd urge motorists not to behave any differently, so as not to run the risk of enforcement."

Mr Wigens said: "Obviously it wouldn't have been correct for us to continue patrolling and ticketing in the normal way.

"My understanding is that a number of local authorities find themselves in a similar position.

"Councils do their best to strike a balance, protecting the interests of residents and giving them a reasonable chance to park near their homes.

"All of the bays affected were ones that came across to us from Devon County Council when Plymouth became a unitary authority in 1998.

"It does seem to many people, including myself, that these sorts of technical issues aren't within the spirit of the legislation."

Mr Vincent, the shadow Cabinet member for transport, said: "They've stopped the wardens from issuing tickets, so you've got all these wardens doing nothing. They are costing the council money but not bringing in revenue.

"This could be a bombshell if people who have been prosecuted challenge it.

"It could cost the council thousands of pounds."

Mr Vincent, who is an Efford and Lipson councillor, added: "There will be a huge loss of income until the lining is made legal.

"People who pay for residents' permits aren't going to be very happy having paid £25 a year when it turns out that anyone could park."

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  • dave1973  |  January 05 2013, 2:03PM

    I will be making a claim as well for my parking tickets, I normally appealed and majority of cases the council replied stating the ticket was an admin error and cancelled to penalty notice given. On top of claiming back what I have paid I will also be claiming back what I paid for my permits over the years as it looks like I/we never needed ! As the bays in question are also illegal. I will also investigate and suggest to my local MP to investigate wether the council knew that these bays were illegal due to incorrect markings, if this is the case then surely Plymouth city Council can be held on intent to defraud? On top of all this I would expect interest on what I paid out which would be at a rate of 10% p/a.

  • dave1973  |  January 05 2013, 2:01PM

    I will be making a claim as well for my parking tickets, I normally appealed and majority of cases the council replied stating the ticket was an admin error and cancelled to penalty notice given. On top of claiming back what I have paid I will also be claiming back what I paid for my permits over the years as it looks like I/we never needed ! As the bays in question are also illegal. I will also investigate and suggest to my local MP to investigate wether the council knew that these bays were illegal due to incorrect markings, if this is the case then surely Plymouth city Council can be held on intent to defraud? On top of all this I would expect interest on what I paid out which would be at a rate of 10% p/a.

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    Hydra, Plymouth  |  July 06 2010, 8:20PM

    Additionally...as a resident who has had to pay for an invalid parking space, you chould also be able to claim a refund on your permit fee.

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    Hydra, Plymouth  |  July 06 2010, 8:16PM

    I have outstanding tickets worth £500 or more. All were received within 2 weeks of moving to my last address. I rang the council to ask for a permit the day I moved in but was told they wouldn't be able to issue one as I only had a photocopy of my tenancy agreement. The original was with my new landlord who had gone abroad. I had to park in the area because I lived there and so got issued several tickets. When I went to collect my permit upon my landlord's return, I was advised that the photocopy of my tenancy agreement would have been accepted in fact and the first advisor I spoke with had been incorrect. I appealed against the tickets based on this. The council's response? "Nobody from the council would have given the wrong information". Which is like saying that the humans who work for the council are infallible! As we all know from solid experience they prove time and again to be very incompetent. This story pleases me very much. NB: If the residents bay you were parked in has already been repainted, it will be very obviously new and a photograph should be able to show this - your case should still be valid if you can show the bays were just recently adjusted.

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    Tariff, Plymouth  |  July 05 2010, 11:07PM

    Plymouth City Council must be delighted to hear that there are so many experts in Parking and sorry that these people have missed their vocation. Mistakes are made and every effort is made to correct them. Lets face it bigger mistakes by those running the entire Country which always cost the public. I thought this area was for making negative and possitive comments regarding issues raised, yet many feel they have the right to abuse and disrespect another person openly.

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    tom, Central Plymouth  |  July 05 2010, 10:42PM

    I regularly use my car for work around Plymouth and the county. I have had to purchase a residents permit and visitor tickets to park in the street near to my property and have received parking tickets in the past. In respect to the article, the lines outside my house are incorrect and I will be writing to the Council.

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    leeroy, the muff  |  July 05 2010, 10:31PM

    I went in to buy a vistors permit once. Never once have a made to feel like a little naughty boy. Not everyone that walks through the Civic Center wants a handout. So much for a public SERVICE. Condescending fools.

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    hamjamcheeseandspam, in a sandwich  |  July 05 2010, 10:04PM

    I'm never parking in the library again, I got booked.

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    Amy, Buckfastleigh  |  July 05 2010, 10:02PM

    ENFORCEMENT: I completely agree, especially when people want to attack other colleagues but obviously dont have a big enough pair to say it to Allan's face, or even put their real name to the comment! Looks to me as if PCC employ some very childish people!

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    Enforcement, Plymouth  |  July 05 2010, 9:54PM

    Hey guys, the issue here is incorrect lines, lets not make it a personal attack on individuals at PCC.

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