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Drivers may be able to reclaim millions in unfair parking fines

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Motorists could demand the refund of more than £100m in parking fines,

after what experts described as an “explosive” tribunal ruling left local government traffic officials in “absolute panic”.


Councils have handed over parking management to private companies,

but in many instances have also asked them to handle any appeals against penalty charge notices (PCNs).



This process is supposed to be handled by councils,

partly because it would be a conflict of interest for a company to examine its own possible mistakes.


The Traffic Penalty Tribunal is the second point of appeal and



an adjudicator, Christopher Nicholls,

has spelled out that council contractors must not be left to process PCN objections.



His ruling stated: “I find that no reasonable local authority could have concluded this contract met the terms of its regulatory and public law duties.”


As a result, 13 motorists in Gloucestershire were awarded their parking fines and costs

after their initial appeals were turned down by the county council’s contractor, Apcoa.



The motorists were repaid sums ranging from £42.50 to £155.67.


The decision has widespread implications for people who may have been incorrectly fined.



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I'm not one of them but would like to see this come off. Then again if a lot of money has to go out, it will mean CT is raised to counter.

I doubt anyone will just get a refund, my betting is it will have to be reclaimed like always and as the majority won't know anything about it, the fines will stay.

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It is less likely to mean council tax rises, which can be capped and are in any case politically risky for the councils involved. More probably consequences will be cuts in social services and staffing. Excellent news.


I am sceptical of the factual basis of the story anyway. Under the 1992 Road Traffic Act, council officers had to consider formal representations, but not informal ones. I don't know if that changed when the TMA came in, but there was historically no compulsion for councils to deal with informal reps themselves. Whether allowing the issuing companies to deal with them is fair or reasonable is a matter of opinion, but adjudication rulings aren't law. I think it would take more than one ruling to force councils to refund stacks of old charges.

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