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Challenge to parking fine over sign that’s ‘wrong’

Would you park next to this sign? A would-be councillor says it is misleading drivers and that council bosses are refusing to correct it. Ukip party hopeful for Herne and Broomfield John Moore said the signpost by the taxi rank outside Vivid in the High Street is causing confusion. It follows the news last week that Canterbury City Council faces an investigation over claims it has doled out thousands of unlawful parking tickets. Mr Moore’s son, who had recently passed his test, parked in the taxi rank and was slapped with a penalty fine. There are two signs on display. One sign tells motorists not to stop “at any time on the verge or footway” while the other reads “No stopping 9pm-4am except taxis”. Mr Moore said:

“To me, the first sign about the verge or footway refers to stopping on the footpath, not in the taxi rank itself. The second effectively says you can park there during the day, just not between 9pm and 4am. So when my son was given a parking ticket, I congratulated him on his passage into adulthood. Then we challenged the ticket. We got an email to say the council were going to let him off because he was a new driver at the time. But when I have parked there I’ve been given a ticket, and other motorists will be, too. So it seems they are changing the law to suit themselves. The sign is just wrong. I’ve asked a senior transport manager to change it. That way they wouldn’t have to entertain any more concerns. But they won’t change it. The sign in my view is illegal, and until they change it I am going to park there. I abide by the law that stands.”

Council spokesman Robert Davies said the fine issued to Mr Moore’s son was correct, but confirmed it was successfully appealed. He said:

“We consider all appeals on their individual merits. We felt that as he was a new driver, it was appropriate to cancel the penalty charge notice on this occasion.”

Mr Davies added the council had failed to submit paperwork to counter a claim made in the County Court Business Centre by Mr Moore, and accepted to pay costs to him. But he said that the council believes the signs are correct, and that motorists found parking in the taxi rank can face being fined.

Herne Bay Gazette, April 2nd 2015

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