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No U-turn by parking chiefs

PUBLISHED: 11:34 08 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:51 24 August 2010

SHAMELESS council chiefs are refusing to refund thousands of pounds of parking tickets handed out on Boxing Day despite telling people on their own website it was free just days before. Brent Council has been branded crooks by fuming motorists and par

SHAMELESS council chiefs are refusing to refund thousands of pounds of parking tickets handed out on Boxing Day despite telling people on their own website it was free just days before.

Brent Council has been branded 'crooks' by fuming motorists and parking campaigners after flatly refusing to cancel Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) slapped on cars on December 26.

Calls have now gone out for those who received tickets or had their cars towed to appeal them and consider suing for damages.

Barrie Segal, of parking rights website AppealNow.com, said: "This is absolute rubbish. Any motorist is entitled to rely on the information provided by a council on the council's website.

"If, through the stupidity of the council, that information is incorrect it is reprehensible that the local authority try and enforce parking fines on people who have relied on that website or information.

"This makes timeshare crooks look positively honest and any motorist who has received a parking ticket in the circumstances should appeal all the way to the parking adjudicator.

"I am considering making a complaint to the council and if I do not get a satisfactory reply I will take them to the ombudsman.

"Everybody who had tickets should appeal and in particular those who had cars impounded appeal and sue the council for damages."

The council's own website said Boxing Day, a Saturday, was a Bank Holiday and free parking until the Times informed them this was wrong on Tuesday December 22.

The website was changed soon after.

Council chiefs raked in more than £13,000 through tickets alone on Boxing Day after 18 wardens dished out 264 fines to cars in Brent.

No parking shops were open on the day for people to buy permits but the car pound was open for people to pick up their towed-away vehicles.

A total of six cars were impounded and five picked up on Boxing Day.

The cost of releasing a vehicle from the pound is £200, plus the relevant PCN fine, plus the storage fee of £40 per day.

A council spokesman said: "Some inaccurate information was posted online in December and I apologise for this error.

"Unfortunately the council cannot consider refunding PCNs on this occasion as it is the motorist's responsibility to ensure they park their vehicle legally at all times.


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