Livid Edinburgh driver prepared to take city council to court over £60 parking ticket
Andrew Newell woke one February morning in 2017 to find the charge slapped on the windscreen of his Vauxhall Vectra outside his Pilrig Heights flat in Edinburgh.
The livid law lecturer argued he was parked on a different patch of tarmac to the pavement, but two appeals failed – so he plans to ask for a judicial review.
“It’s whether council policy is about parking restrictions or about treating drivers like a cash cow,” thundered Mr Newell, 33.
The Sighthill College tutor wrote to the council challenging the charge, arguing there were no signs warning of parking time restrictions.
He raged: “They said I’d parked on the pavement, but there’s a distinct difference between the pavement and where I parked.” Mr Newell even submitted images which, he argued, proved the area where he left his car shared the same “brick design” as parking bays – as opposed to the “dark tarmac” pavements.
But the council stuck to their guns and the Parking and Bus Lane Tribunal for Scotland agreed, despite Mr Newell drawing on his legal experience.
Undeterred, he said: “The penalty charge notice is not based in fact and would only seem to represent the actions of an overzealous enforcement officer, presumably looking to meet his charge targets.”
A review of the decision by the Parking and Bus Lane Tribunal for Scotland adjudicator also sided with the council.
Mr Newell was left with no option, but to fork out the £60 or have the fee passed on to debt collectors.
He said: “I’d get a £30 reduction if I paid within 14 days. I should still be entitled to that even if I appeal. It’s about having that conversation.”
His dispute has even outlasted his car, which he has since sold on.
Mr Newell has now set up a crowdfunding page to raise £15,000 to cover the legal costs of taking his dispute to a judicial review.
The process sees a court review a decision by a public body where other means of resolution have been exhausted and where “a recognised ground of challenge” exists.
Mr Newell is adamant his case meets the criteria. “I’m sure there are other people in Edinburgh who’ve been in a similar position,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll contribute.
“Whilst this cause may not seem on par with others, I ask for help to bring clarity for the greater community of Scotland.”
A spokeswoman for the city council said reductions for 14-day payments are enshrined in law and any decision to refuse an appeal is final. She said: “We are satisfied that the parking ticket was issued correctly and two separate independent appeals have fully vindicated this.”
Anyone wishing to donate to Mr Newell’s fundraising page can visit https://www.gofundme.com/judicial-review-of-edinburgh-parking-charge-notice and make a payment to his cause.