Council loses ‘costly’ appeal over parking meters

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A driver in Oban has won an appeal against a parking ticket imposed by Argyll and Bute Council, because the meter did not accept new £1 coins, and didn’t say so despite the council’s evidence.

The adjudicator said the meter wasn’t fit for purpose, putting the driver in an ‘impossible position’, and it was ‘not reasonable’ for the council to pursue the case.

‘This carry-on took nearly a year to sort out and must have cost the council a lot of time and money, and all for £2,’ the driver said.

Last year she received a ticket in Oban ‘for parking at a ticket machine that did not accept the new £1 coins and did not say so. Despite leaving the money I would have put in the meter if I could have, on the dash for the wardens to see, along with an explanatory note, I still got a ticket. I appealed to Kilmory but they upheld the warden’s decision and said I had to pay the fine as I wasn’t displaying a ticket.

‘I appealed to the parking adjudicator in Edinburgh who said the parking meter was not fit for purpose as, as it did not accept the new coins. Despite their statement to the contrary in their case summary, council photographs showed that there were no notices on the meter to say it did not take the new coins.

‘The adjudicator added the appellant had been put in an impossible predicament and it was not reasonable for the council to continue to issue and pursue a penalty charge notice, where it can exercise discretion.’

Meanwhile, another driver in Oban called the council’s implementation of the new parking charges a ‘shambles’.

Bill Matthews said: ‘The lead time given to those responsible was questionable. Planning, from day one, has been sadly lacking and the level of incompetence demonstrated by council officials has been quite alarming.

‘I highlighted a number of avoidable pitfalls. Now virtually all the problems have occurred with many more besides. The staff doing the implementation do not live in Oban and rarely visit the town.

‘Sunday town centre on-street charging has now begun but, with the hugely conflicting signage, is probably not legal. In comparison to other resorts in Scotland, Oban has the worst, most complicated, user-unfriendly, confusing and inconsistent council-managed parking.’