Incredibly, it’s estimated that more than 10 million parking tickets are slapped onto car windscreens every year. Penalty charge notices are big business for councils, who raise many hundreds of million pounds in parking fines.
We’re not about to criticise either the councils or the traffic wardens though, as the staff who enforce parking ticket laws already face more than enough undeserved abuse from angry drivers. Nobody likes parking fines when they’re on the receiving end, but there’d be chaos across the country if everyone routinely flouted parking rules, and the revenue raised by parking ticket payments and penalty charges helps to pay for local services. So most of us pay for parking when required to, and grudgingly accept the consequences if we’re caught not paying, or caught parking where we shouldn’t.
Of all the parking tickets issued in the UK – and there are millions every year – only a handful are genuinely contentious. Most people know when they’ve been rumbled fairly, and pay parking tickets with little more than a grumble. However, there are some cases where parking tickets are issued unfairly, and that’s when it’s time to make a parking fine appeal.
Fortunately, the way to challenge parking ticket penalty charge notices got a lot easier this year, thanks to a new website designed to allow motorists to appeal via smartphone, tablet or PC. The website is run by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT), and if you think you’ve got a good case for having been ticketed unfairly, it’s worth doing. Currently just 0.5 per cent of drivers who get a fine appeal to TPT yet half of those who do are successful.
The TPT is the body that deals with parking ticket claims for most councils in England, apart from London. The website takes away the need for the slow process of submitting paper evidence via post. Video and photographic evidence can be uploaded on the new system, too.
Grounds for appealing a parking ticket are fairly limited, but the successful appeals are usually in cases when signage or road markings are shown to be unclear, there’s been a problem with a ticketing machine, or a traffic warden has been overzealous.
Fines for parking or bus lane contraventions (outside of London) in England and Wales will also be able to be appealed with the new service along with penalties for the Dartford Crossing and Durham congestion charge.
Motorists can appeal to the TPT if they think a penalty has been wrongly issued against them, but only after a challenge to the authority which issued the penalty has been formally rejected.
The online setup, will not only make it easier but quicker, too, with the TPT able to rule on cases in a matter of days rather than weeks.
Caroline Sheppard, Chief Adjudicator of the TPT, says: “Getting a parking ticket can be a frustrating experience, but our new portal makes the appeals process quicker, simpler and more transparent, putting paid to the old adage that ‘the wheels of justice grind slowly’.
“The platform has already generated considerable interest from other areas of the UK judiciary because it is fast, efficient, accessible and will bring cost savings to local authorities as well as simplifying the process for those appealing.”
Start your appeal here at The Traffic Penalty Tribunal website.
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