Man accuses council of being 'unfair' and 'inconsistent' over parking fines

·4-min read
Burnley man angry after council issued unfair parking ticket and rejected appeal
Burnley man angry after council issued unfair parking ticket and rejected appeal

A Burnley resident is accusing Lancashire County Council of using parking fines as a "money making scheme" after his appeal was rejected.

Shamsul Uddin was issued a ticket in April when he was parked in a taxi bay in Manchester Road, Nelson.

The 54-year-old said he was not aware the space was only for taxis, as the sign was not clearly marked, but after his appeals were rejected, he paid the full £70 fine.

Information on the Citizens Advice website states all car parks and roads with parking restrictions must have signs or road markings that make this clear.

The advice says your ticket should be cancelled if you can prove:

  • you couldn’t see any road markings or signs

  • the signs or markings were hard to read – for example they’d faded or were hidden by trees

  • the signs were misleading or confusing

  • there weren’t any signs saying parking was suspended

Despite this, Mr Uddin said he accepted his appeals were rejected. However, he said a recent revelation last week has angered him, and claimed the council is being “unjust”.

Lancashire Telegraph: Google street view of the taxi sign (2019).
Lancashire Telegraph: Google street view of the taxi sign (2019).

Google street view of the taxi sign (2019).

On Friday, July 29, he went shopping with his wife so returned to the same car park, when he saw two cars parked in the same taxi bays; however the traffic warden did not issue tickets and “just walked straight past them”.

In a letter to Lancashire Parking, Mr Uddin explained he questioned the traffic warden.

He wrote: “What the traffic warden told me made me quite angry and upset.

"He told me that the council had informed him not to book any cars parking there until the bays were properly marked as taxi bays.

“This is what I said to you and the independent adjudicators when I appealed my PCN but you chose to ignore my concerns and made me pay the charge.”

In a brief response back to him, a Regulation and Enforcement manager for Lancashire County Council claimed that to be incorrect.

The manager said: “The information you claim to have been provided with by the CEO (council enforcement officer) is false.”

Mr Uddin said: “I’m furious. It’s not about the money because I’ve already paid the fine. It’s the principle of inconsistently fining drivers.

“Either the traffic warden is incorrect, or he is giving preferential treatment to people who are parking there, which is it?

“If the council are saying that, then that means they are calling their employee traffic warden a liar and are ripping people off.”

A FOI request from 2021 revealed Lancashire was one of the top ten councils in the country that receive the most income from parking fines, earning an average of £4,465 a day.

Mr Uddin said we went through three stages of challenging a notice. The first is an initial informal challenge which he completed within the first 14 days of the notice.

His appeal was rejected, so he then carried out stage two which is a formal representation which was also rejected.

The final stage was appealing to the Independent Parking Adjudicator and the outcome is final. Mr Uddin accepted this and paid the fine however, claims the “council are being inconsistent which is unfair.”

Frustrated with the lack of action or clarity, Shamsul has contacted his local MP Antony Higginbotham who is assisting Shamsul with the case.

Commenting, local Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham said: “Mr Uddin has contacted me and I am now looking to assist him in getting a resolution to this issue. Whilst I don’t comment in detail on individual cases, I think it is perfectly reasonable for residents to ask that rules are enforced equally to all and no one receives special treatment.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "We are enforcing the taxi bays on Manchester Road in order to allow people to access taxis safely. The way the bays are marked was upheld by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal when they decided Mr Uddin's appeal.

"We have investigated Mr Uddin's complaint about the information he was given by one of our officers and we are due respond to the concerns he has raised via his MP."

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