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Following today’s announcement that motorists will be given a 10 minute grace period when their parking ticket runs out, we offer motorists our advice on how to appeal against a parking ticket.
Today, Transport Secretary Eric Pickles declared a crackdown on over-zealous parking enforcement by introducing new measures to help combat the issue. Motorists will now be given a 10 minute “grace period” which means that if they return to their vehicles during this time, they will avoid getting hit with a fine. The measure will come into force later this month and is designed to stop local authorities from using parking fines as a way to generate more cash.
Out of roughly 70,600 motorists who went to the official, independent appeal body in 2012/2013, 50% won, so if you feel that your parking ticket is unfair, here’s how to deal with it.
Before you go full steam ahead with your appeal, make certain the ticket is indeed unfair. Check who the ticket has actually been issued by, and if you still feel it is unjustified, act immediately. If you pay the fine within 14 days, it will be half-price, but leave it any longer and you’ll pay double the original cost. It’s also worth noting that if you do choose to appeal against your ticket, you’ll usually be allowed to pay the half-price rate within 14 days of the appeal being rejected. To maximise your chances, clearly request for the fine to be put on hold in your appeal letter.
Chances of success
Before you start wasting time and effort appealing against your parking ticket, it’s worth taking a look at the success rates of similar appeals. If you manage to get all the way to the last, independent tribunal stage, the success rate is 50%, but it can be a hard slog getting there. Take a look online to find examples of other motorists’ appeal success to gain an idea as to whether you might have a case or not.
Don’t waste time
Once you’ve decided to appeal, do not waste any time gathering evidence. The information you send for the appeal should relate to the time the ticket was issued, which means you need to gather evidence from the scene immediately after you discover the ticket has been issued. In the event your car has been towed away or you believe it may have been stolen, contact your local police or the firm that owns the car park, if it’s parked on private land.
It’s a good idea to, take photographs of the scene to help explain your argument. Things to photograph include any unclear road signs, a lack of signs or markings on the road which you believe should be there, your car and the immediate area surrounding it (if you’re disputing where you were alleged to have parked), the parking meter if you were parked in a paid-for bay.
It’s important to gather any documentary evidence that you think may be useful, it may be tricky to get but everything that proves your part of the story is helpful. Evidence can include proof of mitigating circumstances, for example, travel documents if your parking pay was suspended whilst you were on holiday or a death certificate for a bereavement. If your vehicle was stolen you’ll need a crime reference number and any correspondence from the police. If anyone can corroborate your story such as a witness at the time the ticket was issued, take their full contact details and ask if they will sign a statement to back up your claim.
Keep copies of everything
Always remember to keep copies of everything. Appeals can take time to be processed, so it is important to make sure that the parking ticket and any further correspondence is kept safe until it may be needed. Good luck!