Basingstoke named as most likely council to waive parking penalties

Updated: 
Parking stock image.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 19, 2014. See PA story  . Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Basingstoke is among the easiest places to avoid a parking fine, according to a new study.

The data obtained by the Press Association found that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council waived more than 95 per cent of the fines it dished out, while Waveney District Council, in Suffolk, accepted 72 per cent of challenges.

At the other end of the spectrum, Runnymede Borough Council gave way on just nine per cent of challenges it received, while Staffordshire County Council was almost as unforgiving, being persuaded by 10 per cent of challenges.

There were many differences between neighbouring authorities, too, with drivers in Bracknell Forest nearly three times more likely to avoid penalty than those in nearby Slough.

On average, 38 per cent of challenges made against on-street fines were accepted.

Guy Anker, managing editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, told Sky News: "We hear so many stories from motorists who are victims of overzealous parking wardens. Often the real problem is really poor, terrible signing. People are often completely bamboozled. Can I park here or can I not?"

Basingstoke and Deane councillor Simon Bound explained the authority's forgiving approach to the news broadcaster, saying: "We take a pragmatic approach to enforcement which means that we see a very low number of formal appeals and we will consider each case carefully, taking into account individual circumstances. Parking enforcement is a means of educating, not punishing motorists."