Thousands of parking tickets refunded as motorists triumph over Westminster Council

The Evening Standard reports;

Parking attendant

“Thousands of parking tickets are to be refunded in a victory for motorists after council bosses admitted that signs for dual parking bays in Westminster had caused “confusion”.

More than 5,000 drivers who received Penalty Charge Notices for parking in the dual bays on Oxendon Street, Conduit Street and Jermyn Street will be able to apply to get their money back for tickets incurred between 2011 and November this year with refunds expected to be worth around £278,000.

It comes after Westminster City Council admitted the signs – which say that charges apply between 8.30am and 6.30pm but do not state that the dual bays became dedicated taxi ranks after 6.30pm – had caused confusion after drivers complained.

Council bosses said the refund is a “one-off exception” and that it does not set a precedent for the making of refunds in future cases in which the validity of PCNs is challenged.

The council said motorists may be eligible for a refund if they received a PCN in the Dual Use bays between the hours of 18:30 and 08:30 during the following dates: Oxendon Street from May 30, 2011 to November 13, 2013; Conduit Street from June 2, 2011 to November 13, 2013; Jermyn Street September 1, 2011 to November 11, 2013.

They said drivers known to the council will be sent a form offering them to apply for the refund while others should check for details on the council’s website.

A study by the Institute of Advanced Motorists found Westminster City Council made £38m in parking charges in 2011/12 – an 8.7 per cent increase of the 2010/11 figure.”

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;

“Along with parking campaigner Paul Pearson, I have been arguing with the Council for months that they should reimburse the thousands of motorists who were wrongly fined because of these very confusing signs. The Council has been in denial about these very confusing signs despite parking campaigners pointing out the problems for months. I am pleased that, at last, the Council has seen sense but why has it taken so long for them to admit they were wrong. If Westminster wants to change its reputation for treating motorists as cash cows then it needs to act much quicker to put things right when mistakes like this happen”

The link below provides further information on how applications for refunds can be made.

http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/transportandstreets/parking/dual-use-bay-parking-ticket-refund/

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