Chiswick accounts for 40% of Hounslow parking violations

Councils warned that towing cars could breach human rights

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Last year 37% of all parking tickets issued in Hounslow borough and 42% of all cars towed away were in Chiswick.

Considering that these percentages do not even take account of the section of Chiswick north of the tube line (which falls in Ealing Borough), the figures are remarkably high - especially when Chiswick represents only 16% of the total households in Hounslow.

The significant difference in the cost of parking in Chiswick compared to the rest of the borough is an issue that raises its head on a regular basis. Residents’ and visitor permits are more expensive in Chiswick than in any other part of Hounslow and last year saw the two borough run car parks double their parking fees. In the immortal words of Councillor Lamey "If you can afford to live in Chiswick, you can afford to pay more for your parking. I can't believe that anyone suffers hardship as a result of the higher charge"

With these latest Council figures showing that Chiswick area accounts for a combined 40% of all parking tickets and vehicle removals across the borough, it could be considered a another case of targeting those who ‘have’ or quite simply that drivers in Chiswick have no idea when it comes to parking!

In a report issued this week, National Parking Adjudication Service (NPAS), said that some councils may risk breaking article one of the Human Rights Act if they clamped and towed away vehicles in unreasonable situations. The report also stated that thousands of drivers are also paying unfair parking penalties because some councils fail to make clear that they have a right to appeal.

Chief Parking Adjudicator, Caroline Sheppard, said that many drivers who believed a penalty had been imposed unfairly chose to pay it anyway. Drivers are offered a 50% discount if they pay within 14 days but have to pay the full rate if they pursue the case through to an appeal and lose.

However, as reported in December 2005, a considerable number of motorists who do choose to appeal are being taken to court unnecessarily to contest wrongly issued parking tickets. Last year more than 54,000 appeals against parking fines were lodged with the London Parking Adjudicator of which almost a third could not be contested by the Council responsible for issuing them.  On receiving notice of an appeal, a local authority can cancel a fine however, Hounslow Council allowed over 300 cases to be heard without being able to produce any evidence against the motorist.

January 23, 2006