HOW MANY of the 200,000 parking tickets dished out in the Capital each year would you have expected to be unfair fines?
One in 20 perhaps? Or even, given our parking attendants’ fearsome reputation for being over-zealous, as many as one in ten?
Not even the most hard-bitten cynic would have guessed at the truth – a staggering one in six parking fines issued in Edinburgh are unfair.
And that is only the ones which come to light because the motorists appeal. How many more tickets are handed out unjustly but go unchallenged because the unfortunate driver is either too busy, or too trusting of the local authority, to appeal?
Of course the rules of the road have to be enforced. It is hard enough to drive around the city and get parked without inconsiderate drivers making life more difficult for the rest of us.
But there is something badly wrong when such a huge proportion of the tickets that are handed out later have to be cancelled.
There has long been a feeling that fines are dished out without any thought in Edinburgh – to drivers parking an inch or two over a yellow line, or who have overstayed by a matter of seconds – and that this is seen to be okay because “drivers can always appeal”.
That is wrong. Many won’t appeal because they don’t know the grounds upon which they can challenge a ticket or simply because questioning the city authorities does not come naturally to them.
The city council must order an urgent review of the way parking fines are being enforced or people will lose faith in the system.
Isabel hits jackpot
If EuroMillions winners Chris and Colin Weir thought their £161 million jackpot was life-changing that is nothing compared with how their generosity will impact on one little girl from East Lothian.
Today we tell the story of four-year-old Isabel Wallis who needs to travel to the United States for specialist surgery which will allow her the chance to live her life without a wheelchair.
The trip has now been made possible after the Weirs pledged the cash – a fraction of their wealth but a huge gesture.
Isabel is of course just the latest in a string of worthy causes which the Weirs have supported and their ongoing philanthropy is to be commended.
Good luck to them all.