Motorists forking out for 'illegally issued' parking tickets

Parking tickets are the bane of many a motorist's life but new research has revealed that drivers could be forking out more than £500 million in illegally issued fines.

Drivers are paying millions in 'illegally issued' parking fines
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Each year, motorists pay an estimated £781 million for the 10 million tickets issued by traffic wardens in England and Wales but very few of us bother to appeal.

However, Traffic Penalty Tribunal figures revealed that, in London alone, 68 per cent of those who appealed their tickets won. In 2009/10, a total of 50,185 motorists in the London and the surrounding areas took their case to the independent adjudicator - 34,702 were successful.

The 2008/09 figures for the rest of England showed that a total of 62 per cent of appeals were allowed.

The news has, of course, got compaigners fired up, with some suggesting that local councils are collecting a small fortune from parking tickets, two thirds of which should never have been issued.

Safiya Hussain, a lawyer, has set up a company to help.

"There are hundreds of complex laws which the authorities must abide by before issuing parking fines," she told the Daily Mail.

"The authorities breach these laws most of the time, yet parking wardens still issue invalid parking fines. And what do we do? We sign and we pay.

"People are generally reluctant to dispute parking fines because they do not know what to look for. The research proves that mistakes occur frequently so it is vital for people to dispute the fine."

Not so, says Peter Box from the Local Government Association. He insisted: "In more than 99 per cent of cases there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that parking fines have been issued incorrectly.

"Councils are not allowed to use parking charges as a way to make profit and money raised from charges and fines is reinvested to benefit all motorists."

Nevertheless, if you think you have been issued a ticket illegally, it may be worth trying Ms Hussain's company NoParking Fine - cases are examined for free and, should there be grounds for appeal, clients are charged just half the minimum parking fine.

What do you think? Are traffic wardens over-zealous or just doing their job? Leave your comments below...