Motorist wins compensation from “wholly unreasonable” council for wrong right turn in Kensal Rise
PUBLISHED: 12:13 23 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:17 23 September 2016
© Adam Tiernan Thomas
A motorist refused compensation by the council after she paid the penalty for a wrong right hand turn in Kensal Rise has had the ruling overturned by an adjudicator.
Heather Jones, who lives in Hardinge Road, is owed £97 by Brent Council after an adjudicator ruled its conduct had been “wholly unreasonable”, but she still hasn’t been paid.
Ms Jones was sent a picture of the wrong car turning into Bolton Gardens in September last year, but she felt pressure to pay the £65 fine, and did so ‘without prejudice’.
It took more than five weeks for the council to send her a picture of her car and when it did the registration was omitted. She appealed and lost but has since been exonerated by a traffic adjudicator.
Ms Jones said: “It feels wonderful to have won. This is about the little person taking on the big organisation.
“More than 3,350 people who were caught making that turn when there was no warning sign will use this ruling, maybe they can make a claim.”
In February this year The Times reported the signs were obscured and not seen by more than 3,352 motorists between October 2015 and January 2016. Since then many people have successfully appealed including Edward Ryder who accused the council of criminality for fabricating evidence.
Ms Jones first appeal to the council was rejected as she had already paid, but it was overruled when the it failed to provide evidence in court.
The council said it was a ‘rare administration error’ and had ‘absolutely no intention’ of paying her compensation.
She was awarded £97 in compensation last month when again, the council provided no evidence to counter her claim.
Ms Jones added: I still haven’t been paid. Had I owed them money, after 14 days it would have doubled. That really doesn’t apply to them, why not? How can they apply it to me and not stand by it themselves?”
A spokesman for Brent Council said: “Unfortunately, due to human error Mrs Jones’ application for costs was not responded to. The Adjudicator stated that they had accepted her claim for costs “in the absence of any evidence to counter it”.
“We have already been in contact with Ms Jones regarding payment of the costs which will be processed as quickly as possible.
“The statutory process for parking enforcement is set down in legislation agreed by parliament and clearly sets out the level of penalty charge which is due at each stage of the process.
“The council therefore has no power to penalise motorists for the late payment of fines.”