Driver demands compensation from Brent Council following victory over right turn fine in Kensal Rise

PUBLISHED: 16:55 13 June 2016 | UPDATED: 17:15 13 June 2016

Heather Jones at the junction in Kensal Rise  Photo by Adam Tiernan Thomas

Heather Jones at the junction in Kensal Rise Photo by Adam Tiernan Thomas

© Adam Tiernan Thomas

A driver is demanding £250 compensation from Brent Council after she was won an appeal against a fine for making a right turn near her home.

Drivers claim the signs are hidden if a bus is on the outside lane (Pic: Adam Tiernan Thomas)Drivers claim the signs are hidden if a bus is on the outside lane (Pic: Adam Tiernan Thomas)

Heather Jones is one of thousands of motorists who have been caught out after turning into Bolton Gardens from Chamberlayne Road, amid claims the signs warning the turn is banned are obscured if a bus is in the outside lane.

Mrs Jones, who lives in Hardinge Road, said that it took her more than five weeks to receive an image of her car from the council after writing to them twice and when it was finally sent, her registration plate was omitted.

However she decided to pay the £65 fine but later lodge an appeal which resulted in it being overturned on June 3 after the council failed to produce any evidence.

She said: “The council were notified on May 4 to provide evidence to the tribunal and they failed to produce a copy of the Parking Charge Notice and didn’t bother to attend.

Dr Afshan Malik successfully contested her fines (Pic: Adam Tiernan Thomas)Dr Afshan Malik successfully contested her fines (Pic: Adam Tiernan Thomas)

“I will get my £65 back but while I’ve been put through months of intense stress, Brent Council hasn’t had so much as had its knuckled rapped.”

She added: “I want compensation for this stress. The three hours of work producing my evidence at £40 an hour, compensation for distress, £100 and compensation for postal costs and time spending letters £30.

“It’s not greed. Facing a financial liability maybe Brent Council will be a little more focused on how it issues PCNs and the responsibility this entails. They can’t just dish it out and then take no responsibility.”

Edward Ryder from Middlesex also had his fine cancelled after he successfully argued that the council fraudulently used photographic evidence against him and accused the council of “criminality”.

In February Dr Afshan Malik, who lives in nearby from Burrows Road, successfully contested three penalty notices issued to her after she mistakenly made the forbidden manoeuvre.

Joanne Walker, who also had her fine waived, said: “It makes my blood boil thinking that innocent drivers have all paid these fines when they turned down that road without knowing it was a no right turn.

“Brent Council has duped its residents to fill their coffers. It’s just not right.”

Figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request showed that between October 15 to January 12 this year, the council issued 3,352 £130 fines, the cost is halved if paid within 14 days, which will raise up to £435,760.

The lowest revenue raised during that period averaged £2,476 a day.

A Brent Council spokesman told the Times Mrs Jones will not be compensated.

He added “A rare administration error, whereby evidence supporting the council’s case was not submitted to the tribunal on time, is the one and only reason why this penalty charge notice was overturned.

“It is an error that we are sorry for and we will review our administration process to ensure that it is a mistake which is not repeated.

“We remain fully satisfied that the PCN was correctly issued and that had this admin error not occurred, we are completely confident that the tribunal would have ruled in our favour. However, we accept the decision of the tribunal and will refund the £65 Ms Jones paid for the PCN.

“Given the weight of evidence that we have underpinning the PCN and the fact that the tribunal themselves did not consider it necessary for the council to pay any compensation to Ms Jones, we have absolutely no intention of doing so.”

Related links: ‘Obscured’ road signs in Kensal Rise is raking in thousands of pounds for Brent Council
Brent Council accused of ‘criminality’ over right turn fines in Kensal Rise

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