“Unenforceable” Parking Tickets/Permits Row Escalates
- an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD, updating readers on the burgeoning scandal surrounding the huge (and probably illegal) profits made by North Yorkshire Councils – from PCNs (parking tickets) and residents’ parking permits.
Following a unprecedented volume of web-traffic visiting the North Yorks Enquirer in the wake of a series of articles by columnist Tim THORNE and guest author Andy STRANGEWAY, covering the disastrous mismanagement of on-street parking signage in Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) in a number of towns in North and East Yorkshire, the Scarborough News has today (10/12/15) published an article under the by-line of Ian JOHNSON, thus carrying the story to residents who still rely on print media for their local/regional news.
This follows coverage in most of the national newspapers earlier in the week, outlining the shocking news as announced in a Royal Automobile Club (RAC) 2015 report, that Councils throughout the country have made a massive £700,000,000 PROFIT on the administration of parking in the last financial year alone.
The Yorkshire Post coverage revealed that Yorkshire Councils netted £33.2M in the last twelve months, described as “eye-watering” by RAC spokesman Steve GOODING, who added:
- “The bottom line is that restrictions and charges should always be about managing traffic and never about revenue raising.”
As explained in the Daily Mail coverage on Monday 7th December 2015:
- “Technically the cash boost is referred to as a ‘surplus’ because councils are forbidden by law from making a ‘profit’ on parking. Any surplus must be used for transport or environmental projects – not to subsidise other areas of spending.”
County, Borough and District Councillors and members of the public are now demanding to know how and where this so-called “surplus” has been spent – with good reason, because the next question will be:
- “Who will foot the bill for the refund requests that are already flooding into our Councils”
In an attempt to resolve this question, and having failed to reach NYCC’s Head of Legal Barry KHAN by telephone this morning, I have emailed a request for a statement on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council, for whom the District and Borough Councils in North Yorkshire act as on-street parking administrators for and on behalf of the County Council.
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: ‘Unenforceable’ Parking permits and PCNs.
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2015
To: Barry Khan <Barry.Khan@northyorks.gov.uk>
Good morning, Barry,
Having just failed to get through to you by telephone, could I ask you please to see if you can organise a statement for me on the matter of the shortcomings in signage of some of the Controlled Parking Zones throughout the County?
The Scarborough News has picked up on the series of stories run by Tim THORNE and myself at the Enquirer and I am now fielding calls and emails every few minutes from members of the public (and Councillors) asking where the buck stops on the matter of potential refunds against permits and PCNs that, as it turns out, are not legally enforceable. Essentially, I need to be able to let readers know to whom requests for refunds should be addressed.
I regret troubling you with this, but I know I can rely on you to put me in the picture. A short statement would clear that up in a stroke.
Very kind regards,
At the time of publication (7:00pm on Thursday 10th December 2015), I have heard nothing from NYCC.
Robert GOODWILL MP [Con.] (Scarborough & Whitby) was appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Transport on 9th December 2015. So I have emailed today to solicit a comment from the highest local source:
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: North Yorkshire Parking fiasco
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2015
To: GOODWILL, Robert <email@example.com>
The purpose of my email is twofold:
Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as Minister of State at the Department for Transport on 9th December 2015. Bravo!
Secondly, I intend to publish a further article on the subject of the burgeoning row about the “illegality” of the signage for the Controlled Parking Zones throught your constituency. For your convenience of reference, I include the following URL-links:
- “SBC Parking Refunds Ahoy!” by Tim THORNE (29th November 2015)
- “ERYC – Parking Tickets Refund” by Andy STRANGEWAY (2nd December 2015)
- “Parking Refunds For Whitby” by Tim THORNE (4th December 2015)
- “Parking Refunds On Cards For Harrogate” by Tim THORNE (9th December 2015)
- “ERYC: Beverley – More CPZ Refunds” by Andy STRANGEWAY (9th December 2015)
Could I ask you, please, to provide a comment to include in this evening’s article?
I thank you in confident anticipation of your definitive word on this topic ahead of my press-deadline of 7:00pm this evening.
Yours, with very kind regards,
At the time of publication, I have heard nothing from Robert GOODWILL MP.
Of course, I was not anticipating an expression of total confidence that the legalities had been duly observed by the well-qualified (and highly paid) Council Officers who oversaw the implementation of the CPZs in North Yorkshire, in whom we place our trust – or that every motorist who has been wrongly penalised would be duly reimbursed.
Even so, no response from either our top County Legal Officer or our Minister of State for Transport is extremely disappointing – however predictable.
See also the following Scarborough News article – which begs the question:
“How did SBC manage to spend £3.6M administering the flawed scheme?”