Mon, 22 May 2017
ALMOST half of all West Berkshire motorists who appeal their parking fines are successful.
The new figures, obtained via a Freedom of Information request by the Newbury Weekly News, reveal that the district’s drivers disputed just over 8,000 tickets issued between 2014 and 2016 – with 3,657 (45 per cent) ultimately succeeding in their challenge.
The number of successful appeals is higher than the national average, with councils across the UK allowing around 30 per cent of parking ticket challenges.
According to the figures, between 2014 and 2016 a total of 24,405 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) were issued for parking offences by West Berkshire Council, meaning that overall around a third of fines end up being cancelled.
West Berkshire Council has said it takes a “customer-first” approach to parking fine appeals.
Spokeswoman Peta Stoddart-Crompton said: “Everyone has the right to appeal.
“The council makes every effort to ensure that people are treated fairly. On this basis, every appeal is carefully considered on its individual merits.
“We take a customer-first approach and if people have a good reason for appealing we will certainly look at that, which is reflected in these statistics.”
According to the latest council figures, Newbury motorists paid out a whopping £190,000 in parking fines in the previous financial year (2015/16).
The sum has risen by £30,000 compared to 2014/15, with the number of PCNs issued also rising by almost 20 per cent.
From April 2015 to March 2016, a total of 7,169 tickets were issued for parking violations in Newbury, compared to the 5,993 issued in 2014/15.
As reported by the NWN in January, the jump in payments helped the cash-strapped local authority once again rake in record profits of £1,497,830 from its parking operations – £237,000 more than the previous year (£1,260,043).
Unsurprisingly, motorists in Newbury were issued far more tickets compared to elsewhere in West Berkshire, with 653 PCNs issued in Hungerford (amounting to £17,027 in fines) and 527 issued in Thatcham (£12,392 being paid by offending motorists).
A High Court ruling, in July 2013, stated that a council may lawfully spend surplus parking income on a broad range of functions, including traffic schemes, pedestrian crossings, school crossings, speed limits, bollards, traffic wardens and different types of parking facilities.