Parking expert: Redbridge worst place for parking enforcement

Parking meter in Cameron Road, Seven Kings. Picture: Ajay Nair

Parking meter in Cameron Road, Seven Kings. Picture: Ajay Nair - Credit: Archant

A parking expert says Redbridge is the worst place he has ever seen for parking enforcement after a BBC documentary appeared to show wardens being set ticket targets.

Parking expert Barrie Segal. Picture: AppealNow

Parking expert Barrie Segal. Picture: AppealNow - Credit: Archant

Barrie Segal, who has helped drivers fight parking tickets for more than 13 years, said: “They [the council] don’t have proper quality control with contractors and their services have clearly failed.

“I’m very sympathetic to those people that just pay up.”

His comments come following a BBC Inside Out programme which showed misleading signs in the borough and secret footage of council officers appearing to refer to targets for the numbers of tickets being issued.

The programme played secret recordings of enforcement bosses, from the council and parking firm APCOA, appearing to refer to targets for the number of fines issued.

Council Leader Jas Atwal

Council Leader Jas Atwal - Credit: Archant

Mr Segal, who appeared on the show, talked about unclear parking signs in Ilford Lane and problems with the RingGo pay-by-phone system leaving drivers out of pocket.

“It’s not right,” he said. “Councils have the statutory obligation to act fairly and transparently and in this case, it’s the worst I have seen – I think it’s reprehensible.

Most Read

“I’m not often lost for words but I was speechless.”

Mr Segal, author of Quick Guide To Fight Your Parking Ticket, urged drivers wrongly issued tickets to speak out.

“I have been saying enough is enough, but not enough drivers are doing the same. The more people are prepared to take it to an adjudicator, the more councils will realise they have to be transparent.”

Yesterday, council leader Cllr Jas Athwal insisted there was no place in Redbridge for a culture of targeting motorists and insisted the authority does not impose targets on issuing parking fines.

However, he admitted he was shocked by what he saw.

“What’s worrying is the report having an employee saying that targets are being set – I want to know why,” he said.

“There will be an investigation and we will get to the bottom of this. Improper practices have to be stamped out.”

He said the issue was about contract management.

“There has been a failure somewhere and we need to hold our hands up to it,” added Cllr Athwal.

APCOA said it did not tolerate behaviour which could be seen as “penalising” staff for the number of fines they issue, and confirmed the contract manager identified by the BBC no longer worked for the firm.