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Council admits parking blunder link
By Claire Truscott
A council has admitted making a blunder in issuing parking fines.

Brighton and Hove Council has been charging residents of central Hove £60 for parking illegally since 2001, even though the traffic order which imposed the fines says it should be £40.

The traffic order acts as the legal basis for enacting fines and mistakenly says motorists will be fined £40 or £20 within 14 days.

A council spokeswoman said the authority had been charging the correct rate of £60, or £30 within two weeks, which was agreed and set by government direction.

She admitted it had been a mistake but said residents could not claim their money back. "The amendment is being made to remove an anomaly on the original Traffic Order for central Hove. This advertised parking ticket rates at £20/£40 but the agreed rates became £30/£60," she said.

"The council is now correcting the wording of the traffic order so that it falls into line with the others. Central Hove was the first controlled parking zone to come into operation and therefore has the oldest traffic order.

"Those who have received parking tickets in this zone cannot retrospectively claim back the difference between the rate originally advertised on the order and the agreed rate."

She added that the Traffic Act 1991 states that when a case has been dealt with, it cannot be reopened.

Wish ward councillor Garry Peltzer-Dunn said the council was attempting to bluff residents. "It's typical of the council that if they make a mistake they expect other people to pay for it and I think that's wrong.

"I don't know if it's legally right. They probably feel if they refuse that people won't be bothered to challenge it so they're calling their bluff. But I think it's morally wrong." Barrie Segal, who runs AppealNow, a national advice service for motorists with parking penalties, said those who had received the fines should sue.

"There have been lots of cases with the parking adjudicator where they've said because there is no valid management order for a particular road they cannot enforce fines. I haven't seen a case where they've got amounts wrong but I can't see the difference.

"Adjudicators are clear - people must not be misled. People should ask for their money back and take them to the small claims court if they say no. It's disgraceful.

"They're not correcting an anomaly, they're changing the original order. It may be a stupid mistake but that's tough. They have to start making refunds." The case comes after emergency plumbing company Glowzone in Brighton was let off 44 parking tickets worth nearly £6,000.

A High Court ruling in early August agreed the wording on parking tickets and charge certificates for the authority failed to meet the requirements of the Road Traffic Act. But the authority was told it did not have to pay money back to drivers where fines had already been settled.

8:51am today
This is the shower that have just had the reorganisation of Central Brighton parking zones
thrown out by councillors.

Parking zone plan blocked -A political row has broken out after:

Parking zone plans blocked:

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