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Redbridge Council ordered to cancel parking tickets for offence that ‘did not happen’

PUBLISHED: 11:01 20 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:01 20 June 2013

Clements Road, Ilford

Clements Road, Ilford

Archant

A parking tribunal has ordered Redbridge Council to cancel multiple tickets it issued for an offence that “did not happen”.

Clements Road

Sarah Gallagher is just one of thousands of drivers fined in Clements Road.

Last year it emerged that Redbridge Council made more than £500,000 in parking tickets and fines from the 500m road in 2011/12.

It was the seventh highest haul for any road in the country.

At £60 a ticket, it would mean 8,575 people were charged in the year – 23 people a day.

The road, which has CCTV cameras and is patrolled by parking wardens, is home to the Kenneth More Theatre, Redbridge Central Library and Travelodge hotel.

Cllr Zulfi Hussain said residents have complained to him that signs marking the restricted zone are not clear enough.

He said: “I brought it up with the council last year but they said they are meeting all the legal requirements. I think the fines are too high.”

The fines were issued to Sarah Gallagher on January 22 in Clements Road, Ilford.

Her father, John Nouchin, said the first notice referred to her parking in a restricted route, even though she had gone to the Exchange Ilford car park.

After he phoned the council to ask why the ticket was issued, a new one arrived.

Mr Nouchin, of Wellesley Road, Ilford, said: “Now it said she was seen driving down a restricted road so I queried that as well.

“They were just sending us different versions.”

Mrs Gallagher refused to pay the £60 fine as the family continued to demand answers and it rose to £195.

But an adjudicator at the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service, in Islington, ordered the council to cancel the ticket after a hearing earlier this month. Teresa Brennan ruled the contravention “did not occur”.

She said CCTV footage provided by the council as evidence did not show the car entering the part of Clements Road restricted to buses, taxis and bikes.

Ms Brennan wrote that two penalty charge notices were issued with the same number at the same place, date and time – but under different law.

One cited the Traffic Management Act 2004.

Ms Brennan wrote: “The act relates to parking and not moving traffic contraventions.

“Further, the contravention alleged is not a parking contravention and the penalty charge notice makes little sense.”

She added the council “failed to deal with” concerns about the contradictory tickets raised by Mr Nouchin.

He said: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, it was disgraceful. If this happened to Sarah, how many people could it have happened to?”

Redbridge Council did not respond to our questions.


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