Northamptonshire County Council won't refund motorists parked on barely-visible yellow line

Paul Dunwell was given a ticket for parking on Cliftonville, where the yellow line is barely visible
Paul Dunwell was given a ticket for parking on Cliftonville, where the yellow line is barely visible

A man who appealed a ticket he received while parked on a poorly-painted yellow line near Northampton General Hospital successfully had the decision overturned at a tribunal yesterday, but the county council will not refund other motorists fined for stopping on the same spot.

Paul Dunwell left his Renault on Cliftonville while he visited A&E with a head injury in May 2017, only to find the parking ticket on his return to his vehicle.

A Google Maps image from August 2016 reveals the line was faded as far back as last year

A Google Maps image from August 2016 reveals the line was faded as far back as last year

He blamed the road's faded yellow line and filed an FOI request with the council to see who else had been fined like him.

The 61-year-old found that the council made £330,000 in parking tickets issued on Cliftonville since 2012.

"That’s enough to keep the traffic wardens in a job," said copywriter Mr Dunwell.

A search on Google Maps Street View reveals the yellow line was faded at least as far back as August 2016.

Mr Dunwell submitted this photo to the council when appealing the fine

Mr Dunwell submitted this photo to the council when appealing the fine

Mr Dunwell said the council's inactivity in repainting the line while continuing to issue tickets to motorists parked on the near-invisible yellow was immoral, particularly as drivers were most likely attending A&E.

Mr Dunwell said: “It’s not sufficient for me to have won because they should pay for a day of my wasted time and my annoyance.”

He added: “I would encourage anyone who thinks they have been unfairly ticketed to take this up with the council.”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: "The decision today was purely in relation to an individual Parking Charge Notice (PCN) and is not a general decision on the enforcement of yellow lines in Cliftonville as a whole.

"The FOI request mentioned relates to the whole of Cliftonville, not just the small section where this particular motorist parked.

"The line in this particular section has faded but the council believed it was still sufficient to warn motorists of the restriction in place – the area either side of the published photograph shows a clearer line in place.

"It was for this reason as to why the case was contested with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. Costs are only awarded by an adjudicator if they feel that the local authority has acted frivolously or vexatiously and in this case the application was refused. A review of this decision can only be made directly to the adjudication service.

"Anyone who has already paid their PCN would not be considered for a refund as payment is acceptance of liability - as stated on the reverse of the ticket, and the county council’s website."