Appealing a parking ticket? Leeds is fourth toughest council for drivers to win round

Drivers in Leeds are among the least likely in the country to have a parking fine overturned, a new analysis has revealed.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 6:00 am

A total of 19,653 parking ticket appeals were lodged with Leeds City Council between January 1 and September 30, 2019.

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The national average for successfully appealing against a parking ticket stands at 34 per cent, meaning around one in three drivers has their fine cancelled upon appeal.

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Nearly 20,000 parking ticket appeals were lodged with Leeds City Council in the space of only nine months. Picture: Tony Johnson

The success rate is just 13 per cent in Leeds though - the equivalent of fewer than one in eight appeals.

It makes Leeds the fourth harshest council of all those that provided data, according to online car marketplace heycar.

When asked about the figures, Leeds City Council did not elaborate on why it thought the city accepted fewer appeals than most other areas.

A spokeswoman stressed there were good reasons for issuing parking tickets in the first place though.

“Leeds City Council enforce parking rules to improve road safety, tackle congestion, improve journey times and ensure that there is fair access to parking," she said.

“Any income generated from parking enforcement is ring-fenced and used to help pay for highway improvement schemes such as new roads, road repairs and pedestrian crossings."

The analysis shows that Leeds is the only local authority in West Yorkshire to accept fewer appeals than the national average.

By comparison, Calderdale's rate was 37 per cent and Wakefield was 44 per cent.

The data also shows drivers fined in Bradford and Kirklees were actually more likely to have their appeal accepted than refused, with the success rate standing at 52 per cent and 60 per cent respectively.

Karen Hilton, chief commercial officer at heycar, said: “If you know you were in the wrong, then it’s probably best not to waste your time appealing a parking ticket - but if your ticket genuinely blew over in the wind you could have a case.

“Although the process for appealing a fine is very similar all over the country, the decisions made by councils appear to be very subjective.

“So if you do genuinely think you have a case to appeal, then it’s definitely worth doing something about it.”

Asked about the criteria used when assessing appeals, the council spokeswoman said: “Leeds City Council aims for a fair approach where parking appeals are concerned and reviews these on a case by case basis.

“Anyone who receives a parking ticket has the right to appeal to the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal.”

The tribunal, which operates across England and Wales, will only review cases where an appeal has already been lodged with the relevant local authority and rejected.

It will review rejected appeals relating to parking penalties, bus lane penalties and penalty notices issued for littering from vehicles.

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The Yorkshire Evening Post's Your Right to Know campaign is using Freedom of Information legislation and official data to take a closer look at how your taxes are spent and how the city's public organisations are performing. Email [email protected] to tell us about any issues you would like us to investigate