Council in court over parking zones

A former market trader has taken his local council to court over a number of parking fines that he says are unfair.

Neil Herron, 47, argues that the controlled parking zone (CPZ) in Sunderland is too big and confusing for drivers, leading to them being given fines that they should not legally have to pay.

If he wins at the High Court, the case could be used as a precedent against other councils, preventing them imposing similar fines on thousands of motorists caught in CPZs.

It could also mean that motorists across the country could argue against paying parking tickets. Mr Herron himself wants the 39 parking notices against him, for leaving his car on single yellow lines, to be made unenforceable.

He is challenging rulings against him by the National Parking Appeals Service (NPAS) parking adjudicator. However, the adjudicator, along with Sunderland City Council, says the CPZ are lawful and could not confuse motorists about where they can and cannot park.

Before the hearing at London's Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Herron said: "We have been stealth-taxed for long enough and abused by councils who have paid scant regard to their legal responsibilities whilst ticketing motorists for the most minor of contraventions.

"Hopefully what we will now see is councils forced to comply with the law."

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