Colney Heath motorist is victorious in row over parking fine
PUBLISHED: 06:00 18 May 2016
A delighted resident has won his dispute with the district council over parking his car up on a grass verge - but not for the reason he took the issue to a penalty notice tribunal.
Earlier this year, Paul Winsor, of Wistlea Crescent, Colney Heath, was served with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for parking two wheels of his car on the grass verge outside his home.
He disputed the PCN on the grounds that the ticket stated he was parked on a verge in High Street whereas he maintained it was on Wistlea Crescent.
Paul notified the council a number of times that the address of the verge was not High Street but the council refused to accept his argument.
Faced with a £70 fine he took the issue to a tribunal - and won.
But the reason was not because of the address on the PCN - the adjudicator ruled that it was High Street - but because the Road Traffic Order for High Street had not been fully applied to the road but only parts of it.
That could mean that the district council has to refund motorists who have received PCNs for parking along the High Street in the past.
Cllr Chris Brazier, who supported Paul at the hearing, said they were amazed when the solicitor acting for the tribunal told them that the address issue was invalid but the inconsistent parking regulations along the High Street meant Paul should not have received a PCN.
Chris, who said Paul was delighted to have won his case, whatever the reason, said that the adjudicator had looked at the traffic order and gone on to Google Search while they were there and had ruled that permitting parking in some areas of High Street and not others was illegal.
He added: “She quite rightly said to Paul you were parked on the High Street but I have looked at the Road Traffic Order and the council have been wrong in the way they have been applying it.”
St Albans council’s head of legal services, Michael Lovelady, said: “We have considered the adjudicator’s decision. We are taking action to remove the permissive signs referred to in the judgement.
“There is another PCN which we are taking steps to cancel. In the last year, four PCNs have been paid for the Colney Heath High Street. In accordance with our normal practice, we do not refund PCNs which have been paid.”