If you’ve picked up a parking ticket after stopping in a temporarily suspended parking bay then you may be in line for a refund. Hundreds of thousands of tickets in London may have been wrongly issued because the signs haven’t been approved, according to the Daily Mail.
The Department for Transport provides precise guidelines for suspended bay sign designs that local authorities must adhere to. However, because the DfT hasn’t yet produced a template for such signs, councils are required to get their own individual designs approved by the DfT before they are adjudged to comply with Traffic Signs Regulations.
Because many local authorities haven’t bothered seeking approval, some 350,000 parking fines totalling £23million may therefore have been issued unlawfully.
Adjudicator Edward Houghton told The Mail: ‘In the absence of a compliant sign the vehicle was not in contravention and the appeal must be allowed. ‘No doubt the council will give consideration to obtaining the Secretary of State’s authorisation.’
Neil Davies, a motoring solicitor at the law firm Caddick Davies, said: ‘From a legal perspective councils are on very shaky ground, because the signage they used is effectively made up. ‘They may be relying on the fact many people don’t challenge parking notices.’
Indeed, the DfT yet to say how many people have challenged parking fines on such grounds, but one female motorist who appealed on these very grounds was granted a full refund in 2010, prompting some local councils to pursue proper sign authorisation. However, it is understood at least 14 local authorities still do not have the required clearance.
If you think you’ve been fined incorrectly then it may be worth getting in touch with the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service or the council.