Fines cancelled due to misleading signs
Parking tickets issued to local residents living near South Wimbledon tube station have been cancelled after signage was found to have been misleading.
The signs implied that drivers with local resident parking permits, issued by Merton Council, were able to park in three parking bays at the end of Hamilton, Hardy, Nelson and Victory Roads.
Over a period of several months it was found that 16 tickets had been issued to local residents.
Abbey ward Conservative councillor Henry Nelless pursued the matter with council officers, having been contacted by several local residents, and all of the parking fines have been cancelled.
Of the 16 tickets, 3 have been cancelled, 11 will be refunded and 2 which are currently still live will also now be cancelled.
Councillor Nelless said: "Whilst it is great news that the tickets are now to be cancelled, it is a shame we got to this point in the first place. The signage should have been clearer from the outset and when the mistake was identified it should have been fixed immediately.
"This has caused a waste of time and money by the Council and local residents who were incorrectly caught. It also caused local residents unnecessary distress as they had no choice but to pay the fine or fight their corner.
"All drivers should observe local parking restrictions, but mistakes such as this undermine faith in the system. The fact that 11 people will now get a refund on their fines shows that many drivers just wanted to close the matter, irrespective of the fact that the ticket should never have been issued.
"Merton's Labour administration appears keener to increase its parking income than to operate a fair and transparent system.
"Following recent figures showing that fines from the bus lane in Wimbledon town centre had increased by more than 4,000% since 2010, and reports of enforcement vehicles parking on double yellow lines to catch drivers, this latest episode only serve to increase suspicions that Labour is all about money not fairness."
Merton Council's Director of Environment and Regeneration Chris Lee said: "As part of on-going improvements to Merton High Street, we are replacing these signs to make sure that they are clear and fair. Any Penalty Charge Notices that were issued incorrectly in this area have been cancelled."
May 10, 2014