The year 1991 was a sea change for motorists, because in that year the government introduced new legislation to do with parking enforcement.
No longer were parking tickets criminal offences, but were decriminalised. The other big change was that police no longer dealt with parking tickets, but the responsibility was given to local authorities.
The major and traumatic change was the fact that local authorities could keep all the revenues from issuing parking tickets, as a result councils clamoured to get permission to enforce their own parking enforcement. The figures from 1992 gradually increased so that the number of parking tickets increased year by year. The major problem this created was that the councils were more interested in issuing parking tickets then actually in insuring the roads were safe for all road users.
Previously the police were a lot more pragmatic, they were really interested in ensuring roads were safe and the traffic moved along. They would far prefer to tell a motorist to move or change direction in their car, so that parking tickets weren’t issued. This was not a view taken by councils, they were much more interested in raising revenue and this was demonstrated over the years.
At one stage over the past 27 years, parking tickets in London exceeded over 5 million and outside London roughly 4 and a half million tickets to, on this basis the revenues from issuing parking tickets could fund the exchequer of a small country.
The major difficulty was that councils didn’t want to do their own enforcement and sub contracted parking enforcement to contractors who did everything from issuing tickets and sometimes hearing appeals.
Because councils were interested so much more about raising money, they had very poor over sight these contractors and as a result in the more than 16 years that I have been advising motorists and businesses on how to counter their parking tickets. I have uncovered massive fraud in terms of fake photographs, forged notebooks from the parking attendants and even councils misleading motorists with parking tickets.
We have a system that is inherently unfair and not transparent for example in terms of fairness. The motorist has 28 days to appeal a parking ticket and the local authority has 56 days and, that’s just one example.
We need to have a much more transparent parking enforcement in the United Kingdom and at the moment that does not exists. What we need to have is an all people public enquiry into all aspects of parking and more over insure that the motorist understands and stills that the parking enforcement is true
In addition, over the years the councils have been given rights to issue tickets in respect of moving contraventions relating to bus lanes, turning right and turning left, and them sort of things.
One noticeable aspect that all these enforcement measures is that very often motorists continue to get tickets because they have either parked in a particular place or turned right when they shouldn’t have.
“It is absolutely astonishing”
Barrie Segal, Parking ticket expert
Councils are much more interested in raising revenue rather than finding out why motorists are making these mistakes in many cases. There is an example of a bus lane restriction the signs are not clearly visible or are misleading are placed in such a position that motorists only see them at the last minute.
Because of the councils rush to raise revenue and issue tickets there not really interested in the fairness of the situation and there have been many cases where adjudicators have held the council to be at fault by unfairly issuing tickets in situations where the road signs or the markings were misleading.
With the case of Carrington Street in Nottingham, which has made three million pounds in last three years the signage shocks me. It is absolutely astonishing, the sign isn’t even on the street, it’s behind a railing which looks like its part of a garden. I mean its completely illegal. The sign has to be on the pavement. No motorist, unless they have the worst attention ever will look into a park to see if there is a park relating to a bus lane. It’s incredibly misleading unless there is another sign there.