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One in twenty British parking tickets groundless

The British insurance agency, Liverpool Victoria, reports English motorists lost 58.5 million pounds sterling from unfair parking tickets last year. That’s over 92 million dollars. Only 22 percent bother to contest them, but of those, 88 percent win the case.
Posted: March 21, 2011 - 2:34PM
Author: Don Bain


Before you decide to fight your own parking ticket, simply based upon those odds, you should know the way tickets are meted out in England is somewhat different than in the U.S.

Most of the unfair tickets are a result of confusing signage, misleading road markings, getting a ticket while walking to get a parking pass or receiving a fine when the car is broken down.

In the U.S. an immobile vehicle predicates a choice between a parking ticket and a tow bill and it’s sometimes a toss up which is cheaper.

However, in the U.K. 2 percent of the parking tickets come from out and out false fabrication by parking attendants. Though most tickets are written on public roadways, 10 percent are cited in parking areas or buildings managed by local authorities, such as libraries and hospitals. Another nine percent are issued in commercial parking lots.

In England the average fine for errant parking is 48 pounds or about $68 with most of the money pocketed by local officials in a blatant case of surviving feudalism.

Further, the neighborhood where the offense takes place has a great deal to do with the amount of the fine. In Camden, where the rich and famous live (Amy Winehouse and Kate Moss, for example) the fines can be as much as 78 pounds ($126.95).

Meanwhile, Tendring Council in Essex makes just 16 pounds ($26.04) per ticket and South Gloucestershire takes the least money at just 10 ($16.28) pounds per ticket issued.

"It's shocking to see motorists paying out millions every year in unfair parking tickets, particularly at a time when soaring fuel costs are already putting a huge strain on drivers,” said John O'Roarke, managing director of Liverpool Victoria car insurance. “It is vital that the appeals process is communicated clearly in all tickets, penalty notices and subsequent documentation to ensure drivers are aware of their right to contest a fine they feel is unjustified. Although the appeals process may sometimes seem time consuming, motorists should be encouraged by the fact that the vast majority of appeals are successful, and we'd urge them to take action against any unwarranted fines."