Traffic Wardens Ticked Off For Parking Fiasco
Hundreds of tickets wrongly issued for cashless parking
Hounslow Council has admitted that over 200 parking tickets were wrongly issued where valid RingGo payments had been made, due to mistakes made by traffic wardens.
However, one local councillor believes the figure could be more than double that and has queried the statistics.
The information on incorrect RingGo-related PCNs was revealed by Councillor Ed Mayne, cabinet member for Community Safety and Regulatory Services at last night’s (June 19th) Hounslow Borough Council meeting in response to a number of parking-related questions from Councillor John Todd.
Residents and visitors frequently use the cashless parking RingGo facility throughout the UK where they pay for their parking by mobile phone using a debit or credit card.
Councillor Todd asked how many incorrectly issued PCNs had been recorded by Parking Services in the borough as a result of RingGo issues in the 2011-2012 period.
He also wanted to know how many of the recipients elected to appeal to PATAS (Parking and Traffic Appeal Service) because LBH would not accept their evidence, what steps were taken to monitor the contract, and if the council reimbursed any members of the public who were incorrectly issued with PCNs.
Councillor Mayne said that 207 PCNs were wrongly issued where valid RingGo payments had already been made. In these cases Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs), commonly known as traffic wardens, had failed to follow the correct procedure. A total of eighty transactions were cancelled for various reasons including 53 where RingGo payments were received at the same time as the PCN was issued, he said.
Councillor Todd queried the figures and asked for clarification on the numbers.
"I was told a more accurate figure is 510 and I think the figures as presented do not reflect the true picture" he commented.
The download interface with London Borough of Hounslow systems means there is a small delay between making a payment and it showing up on the computer system.
Cllr Mayne said that CEOs were trained and advised to check by “dial in” for latest updates before issuing a PCN. In situations where a CEO has failed to “dial in” PCNs can be incorrectly issued for non-payment.
“On appeal it was found that valid and timely payments were made and the PCNs were cancelled. The Parking Service has reminded CEOs of their duties in this regard.”
The Enforcement Manager now monitors this and there have been improvements.
80 transactions were cancelled for various reasons including 53 where RingGo payments were received at the same time as the PCN was issued.
In 116 PCN cases the driver entered the incorrect zone when making a RingGo payment. These PCNs were cancelled following driver representations.
In 107 cases the driver entered an incorrect Vehicle Registration Number (but with sufficient detail to identify the vehicle parked). These PCNs were also cancelled following driver representations.
207 PCNs were wrongly issued where valid RingGo payments had already been made. In these cases Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) had failed to follow the correct procedure.
Six cases went to PATAS. Parking Services cannot immediately confirm the details of these because the service does not analyse data specifically in relation to RingGo cases, he said.
Councillor Todd also asked why information on cashless parking was not included in the annual report.
The Council said it will include more details on cashless parking-related matters in future.
“Parking Services currently do not provide RingGo data publicly. It is accepted that this is not sufficient. More detail on cashless parking related matters will be included in future annual reports.” Said Councillor Mayne.
“The Parking Service monitors the RingGo service for payment purposes. They have not had problems directly related to services provided by RingGo. The steps taken above demonstrate that where there are problems with the issued PCNs the Parking Service takes action to cancel them after reviewing representations” said Cllr. Mayne.
June 20, 2012