Half of parking tickets quashed on appeal

MOTORISTS who get parking tickets in Hull have a better than 50 per cent chance of avoiding payment if they challenge the penalty, a report has revealed.

Of the 6,664 penalty charge notices that were challenged in the city in the last financial year, 54 per cent were waived on appeal.

Notices to the value of either £70 or £50 are issued depending on the “severity” of the contravention, which is halved if paid uncontested within 14 days. A total of 64 per cent of motorists chose this option.

A report on civil parking enforcement in the city says the council could pursue outstanding charges more aggressively and be less lenient on appeals, but warns such measures would have a “very negative impact” on public relations in a “very sensitive and emotive service area”.

The council is considering the future of the service, which is currently provided on a contract by Vinci Park UK Ltd.

Options being considered include re-tendering the contract or taking the service in-house. Hull is the only Humber authority which does not carry out its own parking enforcement.

There are also proposals for wardens to have extra duties, such as reporting graffiti and broken streetlights.

The portfolio holder for environment, transport and emergency planning, Coun Martin Mancey, said he would like to see the service delivered by the council.

He said: “One of the reasons for wishing to bring the service in-house is it would give us greater flexibility about how we might develop the role in the longer term.

“I think the report’s fairly clear that there are certain constraints in what we can do but, nevertheless, there’s an opportunity for the officers on-street to report things they see as they go around and the more people we have on the street picking things up and reporting them the better.”

He added: “My view has always been, if it’s properly and effectively managed, it should be competitive with the private sector because we don’t have to make a profit margin for shareholders.”

He said the approach to appeals, which are dealt with by the council, should always be “fair and reasonable”.