Cash Back for Drivers Hit by Rip-Off Parking Fines

Article excerpt

Byline: RAY MASSEY

MOTORISTS who successfully appeal against unfair parking tickets could soon qualify for cash- back compensation.

The idea is being considered by parking tsars in Edinburgh.

Details emerged at the British Parking Association's annual conference in London this week which marked a decade of 'decriminalised' parking.

Until 1994 illegal parking was a criminal offence, enforced by police officers and traffic wardens.

But following complaints from local authorities that too few tickets were being issued, the Government allowed councils to take over enforcement.

Over the past decade more than 120 councils across Britain - starting with London - have been given power to run their own 'decriminalised' parking schemes.

Brian Butler, from the City of Edinburgh Council, confessed at the conference to a number of teething troubles when they first contracted out enforcement of parking violations to private firms.

Horror stories abounded about motorists being unfairly ticketed, he told delegates. But although the system is now greatly improved, the council remained sensitive to claims by drivers that they'd been 'ripped off'.

So now it is considering introducing a new rule forcing its parking sub- contractors to compensate motorists who successfully appeal against parking fines.

'That has got to convince people that we are not out to fleece anybody,' he said. …