One in six parking tickets issued by Swindon Council is revoked
8:00am Saturday 27th October 2012 in By Matthew Edwards, Sports reporter
ONE in six parking tickets have wrongly been handed out to drivers since 2011.
Drivers have successfully appealed 6,447 tickets that have been slapped on their cars since the start of 2011, figures obtained under the Freedom Of Information Act have shown.
Out of 43,293 tickets issued by Swindon Council, 15 per cent of them were queried by motorists and revoked for reasons such as a having a parking ticket or Blue Badges that might not have been visible when the car was booked.
The tickets that were correctly issued brought in more than half a million pounds for the council in 2011 which, by law, has to be ploughed back into transport measures.
The 25,134 tickets handed out brought in £670,270, with drivers racking up a debt of £2,020 over the year.
The council employs the equivalent to 20 full time traffic wardens to patrol the streets and the council has said it has no set targets that have to be met when it comes to the number of tickets issued.
Of the tickets issued in 2011, more than a quarter of them are still unpaid, with 6,603 penalty charge notices still outstanding or cancelled and written off.
Swindon Council said the fact that so many tickets were successfully challenged was a good thing, because it shows the council is prepared to listen to complaints.
A spokesman said: “We cancel a lot of penalty charge notices because we’re prepared to listen to people if they have a reasonable excuse.
“Drivers should be reassured by this – they would have more reason to be worried if we didn’t cancel many.
“Actual errors by our officers only account on average for one booking a day, which is low.
“If people don’t like any parking decision we make they have the right to go to the independent parking ombudsman, entirely without cost to them, for a ruling.
“All the details on the procedures are provided to people when they get a penalty charge notice and are on the council website.
“The great majority of penalty charge notices we issue are legitimate and given for good reason.
Resident Peter O’Shaughnessy said: “It is unfair that so many people get away with illegally parking while people like me who have residents parking are given parking fines if we park in the two hour section in our own street when we have no choice.
“Walk up Commercial Road you will find at least 10 cars illegally parked and they get away with it. “It is much easier for wardens to walk along residential streets and give out tickets than book cars or vans illegally parked and causing an obstruction which is far more serious.”
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