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1 In 3 Parking Tickets Overturned

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6:28am 9th December 2014
(Updated 6:28am 9th December 2014)

Pirate FM has learnt around one in three parking tickets in Cornwall gets written off.

Stats show more than 5,000 appeals to the council were successful last year.

It is after Pirate FM revealed some drivers who have paid for parking are still being slapped with tickets because of a glitch in the system.

It is because handheld units used by traffic wardens are not always updating quickly enough when motorists pay over the phone or using a mobile app.

Pirate FM asked the council how many times that has happened - but officials admitted they have no idea.

Some of the appeals included in today's figures will include drivers who have been caught by the problem with the system.

Two people are employed by the council specifically to deal with appeals against fines.

In a statement the council said: "The council currently have 2 Representations and Appeals officers directly dealing with what is a statutory function. They are supported by various other personnel and systems to carry out this function and unfortunately the costs of running this aspect of Parking Operations is not separated out within the accounts."

Last year officials received 13,028 appeals and upheld 5,188 of them. So far in 2014/5 there have been 6071 appeals with 2,457 upheld.

Joyce got her fine overturned in Bodmin when she was accused of not displaying a ticket properly. She said: "I was absolutely certain I had not done that because I always check when I get out of the car that it hasn't blown away.

"My first thought was if I didn't pay it it would cost me even more. I was quite frightened by the thought because £100 is enough to pay.

"I think if I was an older person they would probably have thought, 'I must do it' even if they were as sure as I was.

"I had a letter saying that, as the photographic evidence was inconclusive, as a gesture of goodwill they were going to ignore it."

Leader of the council, John Pollard, said: "We need to be fair to people. Clearly it is the responsibility of everyone who uses a car park to pay for the car park and to display the ticket. But there are human errors involved and, if that happens, then I feel they need to have the opportunity to appeal.

"I would be more interested in the number of appeals that are dismissed or the number of appeals that are deemed to be pointless. We all make mistakes and if we make mistakes then I think we have the right to question it - if there is some validity in that question."

6:28am 9th December 2014

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