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END TO FINES FOR PARKING TICKET MISTAKES

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North Lincolnshire Council is to stop issuing parking fines for motorists who have made a genuine mistake when ente...
North Lincolnshire Council is to stop issuing parking fines for motorists who have made a genuine mistake when entering their registration number in car parking ticket

machines.

This change follows a review of parking fines issued this year. This review showed that around 50 people have been issued a parking fine since January that could have

made a mistake.

And for a first for the council, anyone who has paid a parking fine since January after making a mistake entering their registration number will have the money refunded if they write to the council.

The guidelines for car park wardens have now been changed. Previously they were

given no choice - if a parking ticket had the wrong registration number on it they

issued a fine. They will now be able to use their discretion and not issue a fine if it is clear that a genuine mistake has been made.

People will still have to enter their registration number when getting a ticket. The vast majority have no problem using the machines and enter a correct number. The few

that make a minor mistake - for example putting in one wrong number - will not now

face a fine.

The registration number on the ticket is important to protect people parking. For

example if a ticket has fallen off a windscreen and the warden can't see it, a ticket is issued. If the motorist produces this ticket with their registration on it for the right car park at the right time then the ticket is cancelled. Without the registration number the council would have no way of knowing if a motorised had a valid ticket.

Geoff Popple, the head of highways and transport, has reacted to the review and

taken a common-sense line. He emphasised that:

'The whole point of people inputting the numbers on the registration was to help

people to prove they had purchased a ticket and enable them to successfully appeal

against any penalty notice for non-display. Unfortunately this has recently had the

effect of penalising people who have made a minor mistake - this was not the intention of the system.

'Parking fines are there for people who either refuse to pay, or don't park properly. Our review has shown that too many people have been fined for making an honest mistake. Penalising these people is just not fair. I personally apologise therefore for any distress this may have caused.

'If people believe they have been given a fine this year after making a mistake

entering their registration number, they should write to the council. We will check our records and people who have obviously made a genuine mistake will be refunded the money they paid for the fine.

John England, cabinet member for environment and transportation, added:

'Refunding this money and not issuing fines for mistakes could cost the money.

But this is only fair to the people who should not have had a fine.

'I fully support the decision put forward by the Head of Highways & Transport and feel it is a common-sense way forward.'

'I know the car park wardens will also be pleased with this change. It gives them more discretion and will mean they are issuing fines to people who deserve them'.

Anyone who thinks they are entitled to a refund should write to Parking Services,

Church Square House, Scunthorpe, DN16 6XQ.

Note

Parking fines are£30 if paid within seven days, and£50 after this.

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