MOTORISTS who received parking fines at two Holmfirth locations should be refunded, a former councillor says.
Ex-Kirklees councillor Jeremy Fisher claims that the parking bay outside Barclays Bank on Victoria Street is incorrectly marked out and the single yellow line by the Methodist Church at School Street has no sign detailing the restrictions, meaning that both zones are “unlawful”.
Mr Fisher says both have been this way since the 1980s and thinks thousands of motorists could have received illegitimate fines.
And he goes further to claim that the council are fully aware that the zones do not conform to the law and says motorists with unlawfully issued parking tickets could report the council to the police for fraud.
He said: “There is case law going back to 1971 regarding such things. How many tickets have been issued by Kirklees for this parking bay?
“They pay highway engineers a lot of money to get things right, if they say they did not know then you smell a fish.
“I bet thousands of illegal tickets have been issued for this bay. How many people have had debt collectors at the door for non payment of an illegal charge? What this is, is a gravy train and they just turn a blind eye to anything.”
A website that aims to expose parking corruption, backs these claims. Blogger, Neil Herron, uncovers council malpractice and details victories over local authorities around the country on his website.
On his site he claims that councils have been advised by the Local Government Association (LGA) to use the 2006 Fraud Act to prosecute parents who give false addresses to get their children into their preferred school.
He says: “But how many councils have lied about aspects of parking enforcement? Rather than considering misfeasance or malfeasance in public office perhaps a quicker and cleaner route is a criminal complaint to the police?
“After all, what’s good enough for the LGA to use against parents, is good enough for motorists to use against councils and their officers.”
In a letter to Kirklees, Mr Fisher said: “I believe that Kirklees Council has acted beyond its powers in placing non-prescribed restrictions on the highways in its area. Further, I am aware that your highway engineers are provided with clear guidance on the provision of such lines and bays within Chapter 3 and Chapter 5 of the Traffic Signs Manual, both of which confirm the correct marking of a highway.
“It is clear to me that the failure to sign parts of Kirklees to prescribed requirements must therefore be a conscious decision.”
A council statement said: “These incidences will be checked – there is a continuous programme to check that signs and lines are in order but people are encouraged to let us know of areas where lines have worn out or signs have fallen down or gone missing.”
Kirklees cabinet member for transport and highways, Clr David Hall, declined to comment.