Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Big Parking-Ticket Bungle

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Big Parking-Ticket Bungle

Article excerpt

Byline: JOEL WOLCHOVER

THOUSANDS of London motorists could appeal against parking fines after being issued with out-of-date tickets in a bureaucratic bungle by Westminster council.

Parking attendants in the West End have been writing out potentially incorrect tickets for nearly two years, because the council hasn't updated their design.

Since September 2000 the codes used to identify different parking offences have changed, but handwritten tickets have not been updated to reflect the new codes.

Several motorists have already won cases at the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service, the watchdog that monitors parking enforcement in London, because of the bungle.

Legal consultant James Birkin, 45, parked his Yamaha FJ1200 motorcycle on the pavement in front of Bonham's auctioneers in Montpelier Street, W1.

He received an pound sterling80 ticket for a code 62 offence, which was not included on the accompanying list of offences. The closest to it was code 60, which no longer exists.

The Road Traffic Act 1991 requires that tickets state the grounds on which parking attendants believe an offence has been committed, so Birkin's ticket was overturned.

Birkin said: "I'm trained to look at documentation to make sure it's right but I wonder how many other people have received tickets like this and not noticed they are wrong?

"I feel quite strongly about it because I think that bikers are badly treated by the parking rules anyway. The least they can do is get their paperwork right."

Hand-written tickets are being phased out in favour of tickets generated by portable computers, but hundreds are still issued every week in Westminster.

Two new codes, for double parking and for parking with wheels on the pavement, are not included in the offences listed on the paperwork that accompanies the old tickets. …

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