More than half of 95,000 parking fines in Leeds overturned on appeal in 2016

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More than half of all challenges over parking fines in Leeds last year were overturned on appeal, an investigation by the YEP has found.

More than 95,000 penalty charge notices (PCNs) were issued in the city in 2016, a series of FOI requests has revealed.

And of those challenged by irate drivers, around 55 per cent were overturned by the city council, prompting calls for clearer signs for drivers.

“It’s an absolute disgrace,” said Guy Anker, managing editor at MoneySavingExpert.com.

“Nationally, 56 per cent of people who go on to an independent appeal win. That tells us there are problems where individual councils are wrongly ticketing. It’s clearly a problem, and there’s been a problem for many years with councils across the country treating motorists with disdain.”

The investigation found that across Yorkshire, almost half (48 per cent) of appeals by irate drivers were successful in overturning the fine. And while the figure for Leeds was 55 per cent, in Wakefield, 72 per cent of appeals were successful, compared to just 26 per cent in Sheffield.

“The figures actually ask more questions than they answer,” a spokesman for the AA said. “A local authority with a low appeal success rate may actually be dishing out fewer tickets that are better targeted.

“A council upholding a high percentage of appeals may be throwing fines around like confetti and relying on drivers to appeal wrongful PCNs – instead of issuing them correctly in the first place.”

Wakefield Council said its high rate referred to 2016, and it has since fundamentally changed the way it works, with different policies in place as it took over powers from police.

And Mr Anker said motorists should always be aware of their options: “The statistics speak for themselves. That sends a message to anybody even thinking they have been unfairly ticketed - don’t take no for an answer.”

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Rise in complaints to Wakefield Council