Got a parking fine? You may as well appeal

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If you get given a parking ticket by Scarborough Council you have a 40% chance of getting away with on appeal.

New figures released this week, show how it is a lottery depending on where you live that affects your chances of getting the fine waived.

On average just over a third (38%) of initial driver challenges to on-street parking fines made to local authorities in England between January and October 2016 were successful, according to figures obtained through Freedom of Information requests.

But there was huge variation between councils, with Runnymede, Surrey, accepting just 9% of appeals while Basingstoke and Deane, Hampshire - just 30 miles away - approved 95%.

Scarborough Council overturned 2,137 of the 5,295 appealed during the period, just over 40.36.

The figures show that Runnymede, famous for being where King John sealed Magna Carta, received 1,011 challenges to parking fines in the requested period, with only 93 being accepted.

Staffordshire County Council also accepted challenges at a rate of around one in 10 (10.4%).

By contrast, Basingstoke and Deane accepted 540 challenges out of 566 - a rate of more than 95%.

Next highest were Waveney (Suffolk), South Tyneside and Swale (Kent) councils, who all accepted around seven in 10 appeals.

Guy Anker, managing editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “We hear so many stories from motorists who are victims of overzealous parking wardens.

“Often the real problem is really poor, terrible signing. People are often completely bamboozled, can I park here or can I not?”

Mr Anker said that after having a challenge rejected by the council, around 50% of drivers who make a further appeal to the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal are successful.

He said: “I would encourage everyone who feels they are being harshly treated by their council to make an appeal to the independent arbitrator.”

Scarborough parking campaigner and UKIP candidate for North Yorkshire County Council’s elections next month, Tim Thorne, has had many battles with Scarborough Council over parking fines in residential areas.

He said: “It is always worth people appealing against any parking fine they are given.

“You do not lose the chance to pay the early payment amount it just means more work for the council looking into why the ticket was given and if it was done so legally.

“I tell everyone I meet to appeal the fine, sometimes the council will just let you off as a matter of good faith but there is no loss to the motorist for doing so.

“You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Council were asked for the number of initial challenges to on-street parking fines they received from drivers between January and October 2016, and how many of those the council had deemed successful.

To ensure a fair comparison, the survey only covered the first challenge made by the driver, and not any further action that was taken.