Council wins parking appeal

The zones in question
The zones in question

A parking adjudicator has ruled that North Yorkshire County Council’s disc parking scheme in Scarborough is legal and enforceable as he dismissed an appeal from a motorist, revoking an earlier decision.

The latest ruling, by a Traffic Penalty Tribunal adjudicator, dismisses all the points put forward on behalf of Scarborough resident Tim Thorne.

Last December, the tribunal allowed an appeal against eight tickets issued between June and August 2016 in Candler Street, where Mr Thorne had parked in a disc bay without displaying a disc.

Mr Thorne claimed there was no valid traffic regulation order to allow enforcement of the parking zone and that the signage was incorrect as it did not comply with the regulations and did not make specific reference to residents’ parking.

In a damning judgement, the adjudicator in that case called Scarborough's parking scheme an "inelegant mess" and ruled it was "unenforceable."

North Yorkshire County Council applied for the decision to be reheard, because, "due to circumstances beyond its control", its representative had been unable to take part in the original hearing.

The re-hearing took place in March.

Adjudicator Stephen Knapp gave a detailed ruling.

A spokesman for the county council said: "He found that no specific reference is required on the traffic sign to explain that residents who display a permit are exempt from displaying a disc.

"He found that the sign clearly informs drivers who park in the bay of the requirement to display a disc, and did not accept that the information on the sign is misleading. The adjudicator was satisfied that the offences occurred. However, the County Council had applied for a review to clarify the legal position rather than to enforce the payment of the tickets, so agreed not to require payment."

Barrie Mason, the County Council’s Assistant Director, Highways, added: “This judgement is very clear. We have always maintained that the signage is adequate and that the order is valid. The ruling from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal supports this and we hope this decision will put an end to suggestions that the Scarborough parking scheme is not enforceable.”

However, Mr Thorne, who is standing in May's county council, said: "It seems the councils abolished the preferential resident's parking zone in 2013 without consulting the people who live in it or letting councillors know.

"The councils now claim that the primary use of the former 'residential parking zones' is not residential parking, which seems absurd.

"It looks like this absurdity was triggered in 2012 when they lost a previous case.

"They changed the traffic order in 2013 to remove the residential parking zones from the residential streets. It seems it was cheaper in 2013 to change the traffic order than it was to change the signs!"

Had the appeal been dismissed then Scarborough Borough and North Yorkshire County councils could have faced repaying millions in fines.