The Ombudsman and motoring organisations have called on councils & companies to overhaul the way they deal with parking offences.
Advice is lacking and the appeal procedure unclear or unfair, says the local government ombudsman Michael King, who wants it made plain to motorists.
RAC public affairs spokesman Nick Lyes said: “This report paints an alarming picture of motorists paying more than they should do because they haven’t been given the correct advice on how to challenge their tickets if they feel they have been done an injustice.”
“The RAC’s 2016 Report on Motoring shows that the cost and availability of parking is becoming a far bigger issue for motorists so in the interests of building trust between local authorities and motorists, it is vital that councils provide clear advice on how to challenge parking tickets.
“Motorists who feel a ticket has been given to them incorrectly should be able to challenge it in a fair, quick and transparent manner.”
he Local Government Ombudsman for England said: “Our work investigating cases suggests that sometimes motorists may be paying more than they need to because they have not been given the correct advice about how to challenge their tickets.”
“Councils should do more to inform motorists of their rights when issuing parking and traffic penalties.”
The report said that they had found that in cases where motorists did make a formal challenge to a parking ticket – or penalty charge notice (PCN) – and were rejected, they were not informed they had a further right of appeal to an independent adjudicator.
Although official guidance said councils must exercise discretion when imposing fines “objectively and without regard to any financial interest”, it could be difficult in practice for motorists to query a charge. See Government information and Citizens Advice Bureau help lines.
The ombudsman, Michael King, said: “Local authorities need to ensure parking enforcement is fair for all.
“If motorists genuinely feel a parking ticket they’ve received is unfair, they should be aware that they have a legal right to appeal to an independent parking tribunal and the council should not reject valid concerns out of hand.”
A city in central China has free parking spaces reserved for drivers who need to answer the call of nature while on the road.
Spaces have been marked in yellow on main roads in Xi’an, close to 50 of the city’s public toilets.