Driver wins appeal against parking fine

Professor John Pickering with his penalty notice from Havant Borough Council
Professor John Pickering with his penalty notice from Havant Borough Council
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Picture: Malcolm Wells (150701-4775)

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A PROFESSOR has overturned a fine given to him for parking his car over the broken white lines of a parking bay.

John Pickering, a professor of business and economics, challenged Havant Borough Council after being given the £25 ticket in Emsworth Square.

Prof Pickering parked in Emsworth as he and his wife were booking a holiday.

A month later, he was notified of the fine in the post.

Parking attendants said the offside of his car overhung the broken white lines.

It is thought the parking ticket had blown off in the wind.

Determined to fight the fine – which went up to £75 for not paying on time – Prof Pickering did some research and found that he was not committing any offence.

He claims the ticket was issued as a breach of the Local Parking Places Order 2005, but in fact there is no such offence under this regulation.

Prof Pickering appealed to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and won after a three-way telephone hearing involving an adjudicator and council official.

Prof Pickering, of The Fairway, Rowlands Castle, said: ‘They had no jurisdiction to pursue me.

‘They were relying on regulations that did not give them that power.

‘The point of general public interest is essentially how many other people have been done on the same basis and coughed up without being as cussed as I have been?’

Prof Pickering has now written to Sandy Hopkins, chief executive of the council, demanding an investigation and apology.

Parking officials said the fine was cancelled because of a legal technicality.

It is understood the fine was issued under the wrong regulation, however, this cannot be confirmed until the adjudicator’s report is published.

But the council said the blunder was an isolated issue.

Michelle Green, parking and traffic management team leader, said: ‘The ticket was issued in good faith and Mr Pickering was parked incorrectly. The adjudicator directed us to cancel due to a legal technicality.

‘It is an isolated issue and we can enforce this contravention as part of the Traffic Management Act 2004.’