Waveney motorists among the most successful at appealing parking fines in the country
- Credit: PA
Drivers in one of our local authority areas are among the best in the country at dodging parking fines, new figures have revealed.
Between January and October last year, 72.6pc of motorists were successful in challenging parking fines to Waveney District Council - almost double the national average of 38pc and the second highest in the country.
The figures also showed that drivers in Great Yarmouth were adept at navigating the appeal process - with 40.77pc of 1,013 appeals proving successful.
The total number of challenges received by Waveney, which includes the towns of Lowestoft and Beccles, stood at 226 with 164 of these challenges being successful.
A Waveney District Council spokesman said: 'A higher number of on-street notices are cancelled - this is because on-street schemes are there to benefit residents and are therefore enforced more sympathetically.
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'However only 15.1pc of the total charge notices we issue, both on and off-street, are cancelled.
'Charge Notices are issued to vehicles parked in breach of the council's Parking Order or with regard to those issued in Residents Parking Zones, Suffolk County Council's Permit Parking Zones Order.'
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The spokesman added: 'Our parking inspectors adhere to written guidelines regarding where and when a Charge Notice should be issued.
'In the event of an appeal, the Charge Notice will be upheld if the vehicle is parked in breach of the parking order stated on car park signage.
'All appeals are considered on an individual basis and decisions taken within set enforcement guidelines to provide a consistent approach.'
These figures, obtained by the Press Association via a Freedom of Information request, show Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to have the highest national percentage of successful appeals with 95.41pc – while other local authorities in the east of England featured in the list.
A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: 'All challenges to Penalty Charge Notices must be received in writing. Challenges are considered individually and fairly, in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Norfolk Parking Partnership and following the process set out in the Traffic Management Act.'
COMMUNITY REACTION Lucy Howard, 48, from Pakefield, said: 'I often park at the car park in Tennyson Road and have received tickets there in the past as the signs aren't very clear.
'Sometimes you do not have time to read the small print, especially if you have an appointment to go to, you're late for work or like me you're a mum and have children distracting you- you just want to pay your money and leave the car as soon as possible.
'But due to the small print on the signs, at a number of parking areas, I have misread the terms and come back to find a ticket despite the fact I have a permit – it's almost like they are set up to trap you.
'Although I have had a few successful appeals, that is not the point as you have to go through the whole process to appeal - which takes a time and is an inconvenience.
'The need for appeals could be stopped by more short stay parking or even introducing all year round free Sunday parking in the town- that way businesses would benefit as well.'
James Evans, 20, from Lowestoft, said: 'I don't drive but my friends and family do. And I know quite a few of my mates have been fined for parking in town but I don't think they have put in appeals - although I'm not sure.
'But if you're my age and you come to Lowestoft I think lots of people take the risk of parking in places, like behind Boots, and quickly getting out to buy things you need urgently before heading off.
'Whereas when we go to places like Norwich, which we do a lot, we'll make a day of it, share a car and use the park and rides as there's more reason to stay longer there, rather than taking a risk like when we park in Lowestoft.' TOP TEN COUNCILS WHICH HAVE SEEN THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF SUCCESSFUL PARKING FINE APPEALS
1- Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council which received 566 appeals with a 95.41pc success rate
2- Waveney District Council, which received 226 appeals with 72.57pc being successful
3- South Tyneside Council, which received, 2, 074 appeals with a success rate of 71.07pc
4- Swale Borough Council, which received 4,721 appeals with 70.79pc being successfully challenged
5- Mole Valley District Council received 244 appeals 64.29pc of which were successful
6- Maidstone Borough Council received 4,686 challenges with 63.79pc of these proving successful
7- Bracknell Forest Council, received 259 appeals with a 63.71pc success rate
8- Hillingdon Council, which received 12,561 challenges 61.77pc of these were successful
9- Herefordshire Council, received 2,325 appeals, 60.69pc were successful
10- Crawley Borough Council, 1,439 appeals were made and 60.11pc of these were successful