We should argue against parking tickets

IN response to Lynn Richards’ letter, suggesting when parking fines are issued and there are legitimate reasons to contest it, we should just pay the £25 fine and be done with it – I could not disagree more.

I bet the little Hitlers at NCP loved reading that suggestion!

However, I must strongly contest it. If you have been given a ticket unfairly then why on earth should you just roll over and let them take your money?

Case in point – last year I was given a ticket for parking in a one-hour restricted zone in Boundary Road, Portslade, as I had left my car there all day.

I noticed several cars in the row of bays all with tickets and stood there like a lemon trying to look for the sign, until a shop keeper came out and said the only sign is at the top of the road – indeed it was, partially obscured by a bush and well out of what would be a reasonable range.

I appealed and it was rejected – the rejection letter did not even touch upon my reason that there was no clear signage, it just told me how the wheel valves had not moved which was their proof I had not left the bay and returned so had breached the one hour time limit.

I was livid and took my appeal to the next stage where finally common sense prevailed and the ticket was quashed. I was more than happy to fight it all the way as I knew I was right. I even asked them to provide the times to the exact second that the photo of the sign was taken and the photos of the vehicle, as this would show the warden would have had to walk up the road to photograph the sign.

Delighted with the outcome, I did not stop there, writing back to demand to know why my first appeal had not even been read properly and the lack of signage ignored as my reason for appeal. It turned out the wardens were not supposed to be issuing tickets there until a new sign had been put in, and this had been the case for several months. While all this was going on I noticed a new sign had hastily been put in place where I had parked.

I wrote back again demanding that all drivers who had been in-correctly issued tickets be refunded, and to ask what disciplinary action would be taken against the warden(s) who issued tickets in this road despite having been told not to.

Although I did not get satisfactory answers to these questions, I felt pleased that I had made such a fuss, been apologised to and made them fully accountable in admitting they were wrong.

I also made them invest considerable time in responding to my letters. Now, had I followed Ms Richards’ advice, I would have just paid the £25 after the first appeal failed and they would have won again. It may be that in her case she did not have enough evidence to be successful, but if you think you do, I definitely suggest fighting these parking firms or councils (depending on the area) all the way.

Sam Williams

South Farm Road