Some councils have earned hundreds of thousands of pounds by enforcing unlawful traffic and parking restrictions, the BBC has learned.Well, yes. Yes it is. You see, you had no right to the money! It doesn’t belong to you anymore than the haul from the Brinks Mat job belonged to Michael McAvoy’s gang! How is knowingly enforcing illegal traffic markings anything other than fraud, exactly…?
Fines are said to have been levied despite incorrect road markings and on parking bays which are too small.
The Department of Transport said it expected councils to "seriously consider" repayment of illegal fines. But a spokesman for London councils questioned whether returning the cash was the best use of public money.
Nick Lester from London Councils, which represents authorities in the capital, argued that handing the cash back was not necessarily in the public interest. He said: "Where there's only a technical error, a small issue, where no-one was genuinely misled, the council can take the view, is it really a good use of public money to repay the penalty? Is that really what they should be doing?"
And yes, Nicky, people were ‘genuinely misled’. They were misled into thinking that the council parking enforcers had the law on their side, yet they patently didn’t.
Caroline Sheppard, Chief Parking Adjudicator for the National Parking Adjudication Service for England and Wales, said motorists should appeal if they believe they have been wrongly fined. But she said that many motorists would not want to take the risk of taking their case to tribunal because it would mean losing their 50% discount - and that the onus was on local authorities to put things right.And how much have they been getting away with..? In the case of Haringey Council, at least £120,000 from illegal boxes alone. And the entrance to a bus and tram lane which was incorrectly marked has gained Sheffield City Council £350,000. (Notice I, unlike the BBC, don’t use the word ‘earned’ here).
That’s a pretty audacious haul, if repeated across the country. Tell me again why respect for politicians and council officials is at an all time low…?