'Unfair' and 'unlawful' parking fine system should be overhauled



The parking fine system should be overhauled to eliminate unfair and often unlawful issuing of punishments, according to campaigners.

The London Motorists' Action Group, Drivers' Alliance and The Motorists' Legal Challenge Fund have issued a joint manifesto that says that any profit made from fines should go to the Treasury, not local councils. It also calls for parking restriction road signs to be simplified and a reduction in the number of mobile CCTV units used for enforcement.

The group also says that some of the paperwork involved with the system is, "a shambles and at worse illegal". It suggests that councils should pay compensation for parking fines that are wrongly issued or not contested when the driver takes the case to appeal.As part of the overhaul, the manifesto also calls for the elimination of the current system which suggests the fine will be doubled for late payment or the loss of an appeal against the ticket. The group insists the fine should remain the same throughout the process.

"It is hard to describe the feelings of outrage, unfairness and helplessness that descend like a 'red mist' on receipt of an unjust Penalty Charge Notice," Lord Lucas chairman of the London Motorists' Group said in a statement.

"There is a need for parking and moving traffic enforcement. However it must be deployed in the overall context of managing parking and traffic, a purpose from which it has become detached in the push to generate revenue."

The appeal is backed by the head of the AA, Edmund King. "Too often drivers feel they have been turned over by over-zealous enforcement for minor errors which are easy to make on today's busy streets," he said. "We need plain English and plain rules."

"Britain's drivers have been abused and treated as a cash cow by councils who have been recklessly indifferent to their legal responsibilities," said Neil Herron of parkingappeals.co.uk. "The lack of regulation and scrutiny by an inspectorate and lack of political will has meant that many in authority have turned a collective blind eye."
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