The angry driver wrote on Mumsnet about her situation, asking other motorists if she was being unreasonable to appeal her parking fine. She explained how most of the streets in her city are either paid parking spaces or for residents with permits to park outside their houses.
The woman drove into the city to run errands and parked next to a pay and display machine, but it was not working.
She claimed that she tried to get the machine to work multiple times, but that also didn’t work, despite her best efforts.
The next pay and display machine was also out of order. She took pictures of both machines and “figured [it would be] enough to challenge”.
The driver explained how she received a parking fine and the challenge had been turned down, despite her protestation.
She said that she could appeal at the next stage, but then if her second challenge is rejected, she would need to pay the full fine.
As it is still within the grace period, if she were to avoid appealing again, she would only have to pay half of the fine.
She added: “Really I should have gone back to car and found somewhere else to park.
“I am annoyed my local council makes a fortune out of drivers, parking is awful, equipment poorly maintained.”
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In the forum, she admitted that she could have paid by phone, but was not set up with the parking service on the machine.
The driver said that she could have walked further but assumed that the pictures of the two out of order machines would have been enough to have the ticket overturned.
She continued, saying: “I had kids with me but was stupid to take a chance. I guess if my budget wasn’t so tight I’d be happier to pay.
“It’s the local council and there isn’t anywhere to park in the city without paying. Different if it was a private car park.”
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Other commenters on the thread debated whether the driver should pay the fine or challenge the ticket further.
One response said that if other options were available – namely paying by phone – she should avoid appealing, as it would likely fail again.
Another said: “Saying you’re not set up to pay by phone is a bit like saying I didn’t buy a ticket because I didn’t have change.
“It’s annoying but I’d pay the half and be done with it on this occasion.”
Citizens Advice suggests that drivers should write to the council to clearly explain why they are appealing the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
This should include evidence of valid tickets, photos of signs which are hard to see or understand and even a witness statement to back them up.
If an appeal is rejected and drivers are still able to receive a 50 percent discount, Citizens Advice says it is a “good idea to pay at this point”.
This is because the council have a strong reason to appeal the fine and if motorists don’t appeal or pay, the charge will go up by another 50 percent.
People can take the next step and appeal to a tribunal, although the penalty can increase by 50 percent again, and affect credit ratings if they have to pay court costs.
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