South End parking fines to be cancelled by Croydon Council
CROYDON Council has vowed to cancel "unfair" parking fines from a spot in South End in a victory for campaigners.
Councillor Phil Thomas said last week that unpaid fines issued at the parking bay outside The Skylark pub will be scrapped, due to problems with the bay's parking signs.
The council acknowledged in September last year that the signs were contradictory when allowing an appeal by ticketed motorist Ken Lippett.
Yet it continued to issue fines from the site until October, without fixing the problems, causing outrage among drivers.
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Responding to a public question at a cabinet meeting last Monday, Mr Thomas, cabinet member for highways, said: "The anomaly with the signage was only recently brought to our attention.
"Once known, the enforcement action was stopped.
"In the light of the incorrect signage, any fines that remain unpaid or were challenged after the date that the signage problem became known will be cancelled."
Speaking to the Advertiser this week, Mr Thomas added: "If the council gets it wrong, it is our job to put it right."
However, he said he could not give a cut-off date after which fines will be cancelled.
"Anybody who has had a ticket and has not heard from the council should write to it," he said. "If they think it is unjustified, they should use the appeal procedure.
"If they unjustifiably had a ticket, then we will put it right."
Nick Gibbs, whose appeal against a fine from the bay was refused on September 28, 2011, is hoping for a refund.
He said: "I was hoping for a cheque back but I think my chances are less than zero. As far as I am concerned it is just an unfair tax.
"The money has probably already been allocated for something else."
Enforcement at the bay has been suspended until the signs are fixed; one reading "no stopping 8am-3am" conflicts with a Transport for London sign saying the space is for two taxis between 7pm and 3am.
Mr Thomas could not say when they might be fixed, noting that recent snowfall was taking up officers' time.
Mark Samuel, an aspiring local politician who has campaigned against the fines, urged the council to do more to publicise the ticket cancellations.
"The fact is some motorists who have been ticketed may not live in the area," he said.
A total of 2,551 tickets were issued across South End between April 2010 and April 2011, bringing in £140,953 for the council.