Parking expert: Redbridge worst place for parking enforcement
PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 February 2016 | UPDATED: 13:26 04 February 2016
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Writing on Facebook Andrew Granditer said he received a fine despite displaying a ticket in his car in Seven Kings car park.
“The warden said that I had the wrong ticket. Even though I paid for a parking ticket from the machine that was inside the car park, apparently the ticket was actually for parking on the road.”
He successfully appealed against the fine, adding: “I wonder how many people were caught out by this ‘mistake’.”
Sabina Fareed, 30, overturned a ticket for her wheels being over the lines. She claims the warden angled the photo so her car appeared out of the lines.
Kash Singh, 34, of Windsor Road, Ilford, said: “I was waiting with my baby daughter in the car, on December 2, near Sainsbury’s [Roden Street].
“The traffic warden gave me a ticket without me realising or letting me know, and I only noticed after I left.
“I drove back to tell the warden, and when I was speaking to him another warden gave me a ticket. Two tickets in ten minutes!”
Sharmila Bokaragodage, 45, of Argyle Road, Ilford, said: “Once my husband pulled over and parked with his emergency lights on because he felt dizzy, and he was given a ticket!”
“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.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.