08/01/2013 Parking Mad


08/01/2013

Documentary following the people who fight their parking tickets. Featuring both the council's parking enforcement departments and the amateur parking campaigners who oppose them.


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Transcript


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Every 4.6 seconds, somebody in Britain receives a parking ticket.

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-Not good.

-Last year, councils issued more tickets than ever before.

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You've been issued a ticket, mate.

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It's not really fair for only 2 minutes.

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Parking fines now raise hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue.

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They care about the money. Show me the money!

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They're too fond of fining drivers.

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They're like vermin.

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Now the motorists of Britain are fighting back.

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Stop! Stop! 60 quid, mate.

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If I'm right I'll fight.

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Our way of life's at stake.

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-Because I'm a pensioner, I can't afford 70 quid.

-All right, well now... Yeah, all right.

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It's a battle between citizen and state.

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-It seems like it's just a parking ticket.

-But it's not. It's not.

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I think this country does need a revolution.

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So is this about parking or about something bigger about society?

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No, this is about parking.

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Councils enforce parking restrictions to ensure road safety

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and the smooth flow of traffic along our streets.

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But there is a gang of masked riders who believe

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some councils are over-stepping the boundaries,

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by using parking enforcement to make money out of motorists.

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We've all got our names.

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We've got S&M, me, I'm the Bald Eagle, Steve.

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We've got Monkey Girl - she's not here today.

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S&M and Parking Warrior are going to be coming back very shortly.

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They're going to take us down to another car.

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Hold on. Car. Who's ready to go?

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It's basically a mob of people that have got a single idea which is,

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we're fed up with being treated as cash cows.

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We hold councils to account.

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Today, the No-To Mob are in South London tailing a CCTV camera car.

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-'Coco, Coco, confirm we have lost the car.'

-'We're following the car.'

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'We're just coming up to a set of traffic lights now.'

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They follow the cars along the highways of Britain,

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warning motorists they're being watched.

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Brilliant. Well done. Wrong 'uns, ain't they?

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They're only there to take money off the poor people.

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We started to follow them around to see what their habits were.

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What we found was that they returned time

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and again to the same venues, and we call those venues honeypots.

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The Mob have tailed this car to Southwark.

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It's parked outside a Tesco Express.

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In our experience, the cars aren't very visible,

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and that's what we do, we go out and we make them visible

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by standing and holding out signs and pointing to the car.

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Southwark Council say their CCTV vehicles are clearly marked and not covert.

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They urge motorists to read the road signs to avoid getting tickets.

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I totally agree with it, because I've just parked there to run in and get a newspaper the other day

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and I got a ticket! And I thought the whole point of having that lay-by there

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was so that people could park outside Tesco.

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-What's the point of putting it there?

-You haven't seen the signage that's there,

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-so it obviously isn't good enough.

-It isn't good enough.

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And they know it isn't good enough, because they've got him there

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-waiting to catch people unawares, like yourself.

-Oh, is that what they do?

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That's what he's doing. That's how you got caught. That guy sits there.

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-They're doing it deliberately?

-Yes.

-What are you doing?

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-We're warning and stopping people...

-Well done. Well done.

-..parking in that bay

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for the couple of hours that they're not allowed to,

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so that they don't end up with these tickets. It's disgraceful.

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-What is the point of it?

-The point of it is purely about making money out of motorists.

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-It's absolutely all it's about.

-It is such a rip off. So well done. Well done.

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Thank you very much.

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-This bloke's given us the thumbs up.

-I like what these guys are doing.

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And they need to be all over the place.

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-I will be there to support them, yeah.

-Well done, mate. Well done.

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-You have a nice one.

-And you. Thanks a lot, mate. Cheers. See ya.

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We know the scale of the industry, and the fact that they use

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the word "industry" is what really concerns us.

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I've long maintained that an industry should have a product,

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and the only product of this particular industry is human misery.

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Faced with paying out a record-breaking £700 million

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in penalties to local councils,

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we now contest our tickets in unprecedented numbers.

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Motorists appeal first to the council, but if they're

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unsuccessful, they can put the case to a dedicated Parking Tribunal.

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Let me introduce myself, my name's Caroline Shepherd

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and I'm the adjudicator who will deal with your case.

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I'm completely independent of the council and of yourself.

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Caroline Shepherd is the Traffic Penalty Tribunal's chief adjudicator.

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The Traffic Penalty Tribunal covers both England and Wales.

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There are about 280 local authorities all around the country

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that are issuing parking tickets and Penalty Charge Notices.

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I'm afraid it's very common in traffic.

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And if you get one of those and you want to appeal against it

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then you can write to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal

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and then the adjudicator will decide whether you have to pay or not.

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Tribunals take place in hundreds of towns and villages across England and Wales.

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Les Powell was given a ticket for parking on a single yellow line outside his bank in Cradley.

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I'm not one to back away if I'm in the right.

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Les has a disabled badge.

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It allows him to park on single yellow lines.

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He received a ticket after the traffic warden

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maintained his Blue Badge was not on display.

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That Blue Badge was in my car and it was on show.

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And there's no sympathy whatsoever from these wardens.

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And they think they're the Gestapo, Hitlers, the lot of them.

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Because they've got their uniform on, they've got power.

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How much was your fine? How much?

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£70. Well, I haven't paid it and I shan't pay it.

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I'll go to jail for it.

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Do you really mean that?

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-Oh, yeah.

-Really?

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I'll go to jail because I'm innocent. And that's it. I am innocent.

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Today, Les will attend the tribunal to argue his case.

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If they want to take me to jail from tribunal, I'll go.

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If I'm right I'll fight.

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Les will be up against Sandwell Council's Head of Parking - Kira Flack.

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British people are very good, and they like to abide by the rules,

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and it's only a small minority that doesn't comply.

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And they are the ones we really need to educate.

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If I go here today they won't call me a liar because I shall be telling the truth.

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My father always told me, "Tell the truth and nobody can hurt you."

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Now of course we have people who are not entirely truthful,

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but that may apply on both sides. We treat everybody equally.

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Motorists must gather their own evidence to

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prove their case against the council.

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Typically, photographs are very helpful.

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People just really need to say what happened and the adjudicator

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will then see whether that fits within the law or not.

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I'll need your name I'm afraid.

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My name's Aoulik. A-O-U-L-I-K.

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The council have brought along the Civil Enforcement Officer

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who issued Les with the ticket.

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-So, Miss Aoulik, you issued the Penalty Charge Notice.

-I did.

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Now would you like to tell us why you issued it?

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The car was parked on a single line on the High Street in Cradley, and I could not see no Blue Badge.

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She says that she didn't see the Blue Badge.

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OK, well, I'll deal with that in a minute.

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I'll give you a full chance to deal with that in a moment, but she says

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she didn't see it at this stage, and then it's your turn, all right?

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OK. So, yes.

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Then he became very rude and started shouting at me

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and saying that I wasn't doing my job properly.

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She was standing in front of the car and I walked up

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and I said, "What's the problem?"

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She says, "You're parked illegally." I says, "Have you seen this?"

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And she came round to the side of the car

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and I pointed to the windscreen and the Blue Badge was on the dashboard.

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Is that correct? Is that correct, I'm asking you?

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No, no, no, please.

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Right. Now Mr Powell says it was on the dashboard.

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It wasn't.

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Right, have we got any photographs? Page 23.

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-Just a minute, just a minute.

-First of all...

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Is that correct what I've just said?

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All right, now let me just try and take this one step at a time.

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Because I'm a pensioner and I can't afford 70 quid.

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All right. Now please, that's OK. That's all right. Now please, Miss Flack.

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Yes. I was just going to explain why it was on that occasion.

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Let's go to the photographs.

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Let's have a look. It is normal to have closer pictures of dashboards.

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Why did not you not take one close-up on this occasion?

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I just thought that was a normal picture to take.

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There could easily be a Blue Badge near the tax disc, could there not?

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I'm not going to take this any further and I'll tell you why,

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because I think the photographs simply do not show that there was no Blue Badge there.

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And so I'm allowing your appeal,

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-and there's no question of you paying anything, Mr Powell.

-Thank you.

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I got justice.

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And I'm 70 quid better off.

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It's not a matter of winning or losing,

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it's about getting the processes right.

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We should be doing the job fairly, equitably

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and be fair to the customer.

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You call people customers, are they customers or are they citizens?

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I mean, this is a local authority.

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They're both, they're citizens and customers.

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When they go in our car park and they buy a Pay and Display ticket

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or they park on the street and buy Pay and Display ticket.

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They're our customers and we... They have expectations as a customer what

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we should be providing them with and how we should be dealing with them.

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Like a business relationship?

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Yeah.

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Kira Flack is in charge of Sandwell Council's traffic wardens.

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Chris Clarke has been patrolling these streets for three years.

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I get laughed at. You get the cars driving past

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and trying to aim the splash of a big puddle straight at you.

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Yeah. I've had that as well.

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Hello. Hello, you all right?

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No, you have to move it on unfortunately, please.

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Honestly mate, you have to move it on from here straight away. Thank you.

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It's not in perspective at all. I've been spat at.

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I've... You know, people have wished harm on my children,

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wished harm on my family and all that kind of thing.

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Threats to kill, you know, you can get threatened to kill most days.

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Is this your car, sir?

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-It's been issued with a PCN.

-Say it again.

-You've been issued a ticket.

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-I've been issued a ticket?

-Yeah.

-Why?

-Double yellow lines right underneath your car. Say it again?

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-Loading-unloading there yesterday.

-You've got loading bays across there, but on double yellow lines.

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I was in the loading bay yesterday and they put a ticket on my car as well. That's the second time.

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All your details are on the back. OK. I understand.

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All your details are on the back of the PCN. You can appeal the ticket and explain

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if you were loading-unloading. OK?

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They're racist. The only people is Asian people,

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they always put tickets on Asian people's cars, you know what I mean?

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It's the second time he's done it now, second time. Sort it out. Sort yourself out, you know what I mean?

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They're racist people, they're racist to Asians. When Asians come together, watch what Asians do.

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Wound me up.

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If he read signs, he wouldn't get parking tickets.

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There's enough of them about. And there's a car park up there.

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How does the parking warden know who's got out of the car that's parked? He don't.

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We are the baddies and it's just an opportunity to vent off an anger

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and abuse at someone, I think.

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My name is David Binns.

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I'd like to make it clear I'm independent from the council.

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The Traffic Penalty Tribunal employs a team of 23 legally trained adjudicators.

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My name is Nicholls, I'm the adjudicator

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appointed by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

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My name's Maggie Kennedy, I'm your parking adjudicator today.

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They handle over 20,000 cases every year - by post, over the phone and in person.

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I do parking appeals all over England and Wales.

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Today I happen to be almost in Brighton.

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All you need to know about me really is that I'm an independent lawyer.

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I don't work for the council, I'm not on the council's side.

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I'm not on your side either.

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But I have had a good look at this,

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-and you've gone at this like a dog with a sausage, haven't you?

-Yeah.

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I mean, you know, we're judicial pond life really.

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You know, we don't rank at all on the scale of things.

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That's all right. I've no great ambitions. I don't need to wear a wig, it's too hot.

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Now it's quite an interesting one, which doesn't interest you, but it interests me.

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Now unfortunately, I've been on to the council's website

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and they don't have any photographic evidence available.

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I don't know whether that's very convenient for them.

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Don't get into conspiracies, no.

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'People tell the most outrageous stories sometimes, you know,'

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the dog was sick and then the trolley wheel,

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and then the bottom fell out of the bag and then the four-year-old

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needs to go to the toilet, and all of these things happen, you know?

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Sometimes they're telling the truth from their heart.

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I felt that the traffic warden had been just really - it was just

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not a very nice thing to do, and I think everything's gone mad really.

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I feel justified that we arrived there,

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we were invited to park, there was that over there.

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I wouldn't stress too much that we were short of time, because we'd ten minutes to spare,

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and the theatre's only a cock's stride from where we were.

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We just completely cover, you know, society from top to bottom,

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left to right, side by side.

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You know, all human life is there.

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-Thank you.

-I won't shake hands, if you don't mind.

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-Yes. No.

-I need to remain impartial.

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-Yes, I do understand. Yes.

-Thank you, sir.

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-Thank you, goodbye, Mr Nicholls.

-Good day.

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It's about the people, it's about the real stories

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and just getting to talk to people and them looking at me

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and saying, "Look, you know, this isn't fair."

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I did not expect in the middle of the night that these wardens

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come round at 7 o'clock in the morning. I couldn't believe it.

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What you're really complaining about is being caught, isn't it?

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'In 25 years as a criminal prosecutor, I met some very polite'

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murderers and burglars who were never in the least bit

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upset that they were being prosecuted, but I've

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prosecuted hundreds of careless drivers who were deeply offended,

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mortally offended by the suggestion that they were driving badly.

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And Penalty Charge Notice recipients tend to be along much the same lines.

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The law is a very blunt weapon sometimes,

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and with the vehicle there, which you've accepted and is shown

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in the photographs, on the zig-zag lines, the contravention happens.

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I have to conclude as a matter of law, the penalty charge is

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properly issued and technically you do owe the penalty.

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Well, that decision is final, there is no further right of appeal

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unless you want to go to the High Court in London and argue the law with the judges.

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I feel that strongly.

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Very few people do that. Usually because of the expense involved.

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On the whole, if you look at our statistics,

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more appeals are allowed than dismissed, but there are

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provisions to go to the High Court just like any legal proceedings.

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They can be judicially reviewed in the High Court,

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and this has happened about three times,

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but it's not really an option that most people want to consider.

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Richard Chaumeton runs a building company in North London.

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He is preparing to take his local council to the High Court.

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They care about money, that's all they care about.

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Show me the money!

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His fleet of 25 vehicles has received almost

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1,000 parking tickets.

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Fucking hell, there's so much shite in here.

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These are all my on-going tickets with Camden. This is one location.

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Is there a system?

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There will be soon. I mean I'm a builder, I'm not a Mrs Moneypenny.

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Richard contests nearly every ticket he receives.

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If the boys park on a bus stop or on a Red Route, yeah, they get paid.

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But I never pay tickets. I just about never pay tickets.

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There's always a reason for me parking on a double yellow line,

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which is usually I'm loading or unloading.

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The local authorities should realise they should leave the building

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industry alone, and realise that we can't do our job without

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vehicles, we have to deliver, we have to pick up rubbish.

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By law, Richard's vans are allowed to park on double yellows

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for a limited time to load and unload.

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But he argues that, despite this, councils still issue him with tickets.

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Oh, it's mental.

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There's probably £80,000 worth of fines there they tried to

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make us pay and they probably had 2,000 quid off us if they're lucky.

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And that can't be right.

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I think some of these bureaucrats are nothing better than maggots.

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At the end of the day I'm stopping Camden stealing money off me,

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because that's how I see it. It's like legalised mugging.

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Camden Council say they're improving the way they issue tickets,

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and deny that parking is run to generate revenue.

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Today, Richard is making another appearance at tribunal

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to contest his latest batch of tickets.

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I'm late. I've got to go in.

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A little bit late?

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Yeah, I've got to go in because I'm late.

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-How many tickets?

-Four.

0:19:320:19:34

It's an absolute liberty of my time, it's taking.

0:19:340:19:38

This will be Richard's 57th visit to tribunal.

0:19:440:19:49

He almost never loses.

0:19:530:19:55

Camden Council are trying to get 1,040 quid off me, dirty bastards.

0:19:550:20:01

And they didn't get one penny of that.

0:20:010:20:04

Dirty bastards for wasting my time.

0:20:040:20:06

To try and put an end to the endless cycle of parking fines

0:20:060:20:09

and tribunal appearances, Richard has decided to try

0:20:090:20:13

and settle the issue once and for all.

0:20:130:20:15

That's why I'm going to judicially review them,

0:20:150:20:18

and put all my evidence in front of a High Court judge

0:20:180:20:21

and we're going to see what divisive bullshit they come out with, because

0:20:210:20:25

I know this much, a High Court judge won't accept their bullshit.

0:20:250:20:29

They've picked a fight with the wrong guy, I tell you.

0:20:310:20:34

And I don't go away. I do not go away, and I will not lie down and I always win.

0:20:340:20:39

Camden, here I come.

0:20:410:20:42

Across the country, motorists are taking a stand.

0:20:510:20:54

Barry Moss lives in Bolton

0:20:570:20:59

and is one of Britain's most high profile parking campaigners.

0:20:590:21:03

Parking virtually took over my life, you know, with everything.

0:21:030:21:09

You don't wake up one morning and think "Ee, today I'm going to

0:21:090:21:13

"be a parking campaigner," you just... Events completely overtake you,

0:21:130:21:17

and you just get involved with the issue of the day.

0:21:170:21:21

After successfully contesting a series of parking tickets

0:21:240:21:26

at tribunal, Barry became convinced that Bolton Council

0:21:260:21:31

were issuing tickets unlawfully.

0:21:310:21:34

I like things to be right.

0:21:340:21:36

This is why we have the problems in Britain is because we don't complain enough.

0:21:360:21:40

In 2010, Barry went all the way to the High Court to try to

0:21:410:21:45

prove that Bolton Council had money taken from unlawful parking tickets in their accounts.

0:21:450:21:51

If there's an injustice been carried out by a council

0:21:510:21:55

or any other organisation and that's where we can get redress,

0:21:550:22:00

then that's where we have to go.

0:22:000:22:02

Is it not a little bit absurd to take parking tickets to the High Court?

0:22:020:22:07

No. No.

0:22:090:22:12

Where am I going here?

0:22:150:22:17

Barry has dedicated his life to exposing the failings

0:22:170:22:21

and loopholes of parking restrictions.

0:22:210:22:24

He does this by getting tickets - deliberately.

0:22:250:22:29

Like here, we've got one here, see,

0:22:290:22:31

where it's had a repair here in the road.

0:22:310:22:34

I can park here all day. And you're not doing anything illegal.

0:22:340:22:39

You still know you're parking on a double yellow line, don't you? So it's a technicality.

0:22:410:22:45

It doesn't matter, they know that it wants repairing.

0:22:450:22:48

There's a civil enforcement officer there. What's this here?

0:22:510:22:56

The tickets give Barry the opportunity to challenge

0:23:010:23:04

the council at tribunal.

0:23:040:23:06

The line here is completely missing.

0:23:110:23:16

There should be a line there, a line there, and a T-bar there.

0:23:160:23:21

How can people comply with the Parking Places Order

0:23:210:23:24

if there's no lines?

0:23:240:23:28

Barry refuses to buy Pay and Display tickets

0:23:300:23:33

if he believes the council haven't painted the lines correctly.

0:23:330:23:36

In comparison to the other street this is how they should be.

0:23:380:23:43

I mean it's still illegal because there should be a double white line down there similar to

0:23:430:23:48

this one here which denotes the end of the bay.

0:23:480:23:51

But everyone knows that's a parking place. So what's the difference?

0:23:510:23:56

Why does it matter?

0:23:560:23:58

Because they're not...it's like me and you then, "Oh, we'll make our own parking bay up, eh?"

0:23:580:24:03

Get a bit of yellow paint,

0:24:030:24:04

stick a couple of lines down and that's it, you know?

0:24:040:24:08

That's basically what the council's done.

0:24:080:24:10

Instead of looking at the book and saying, "Oh, this is what..."

0:24:110:24:15

These guys are on £700-£800 a week who's in charge of these things

0:24:150:24:20

and they should know what a bay looks like.

0:24:200:24:24

Why does it bother you though that the council would do this?

0:24:240:24:29

Because they expect us to comply with all the laws of parking

0:24:290:24:33

and they're not doing it themselves, so it's a two-way street.

0:24:330:24:38

I'm just going to check to see if I've got ticket.

0:24:400:24:43

Oh, I've got one.

0:24:460:24:48

Success. Go to appeal with that.

0:24:520:24:56

-Have you been booked?

-Yeah.

0:24:570:24:59

Oh, how awful.

0:24:590:25:01

No, it's all right love, I got it on purpose.

0:25:010:25:03

Are you disabled or...?

0:25:030:25:06

What I'm trying to do is highlight the fact that they've not painted the lines.

0:25:060:25:10

They've been like this for years and they should be nice and bright.

0:25:100:25:14

I'm taking a picture of these non-existent lines.

0:25:190:25:24

If everybody appealed, the system would go in to meltdown.

0:25:280:25:31

-INTERVIEWER:

-Is that what you'd want?

0:25:310:25:33

That's what I'd want, yeah,

0:25:330:25:35

for everybody to challenge their Penalty Charge Notice.

0:25:350:25:38

If everybody said tomorrow, everyone who got a parking ticket from now,

0:25:380:25:42

appealed, it would... The system would completely go in to

0:25:420:25:46

meltdown overnight, because there's only three in 1,000 appeal.

0:25:460:25:51

Imagine if everybody appealed.

0:25:510:25:53

In the last year, the number of wardens patrolling our streets

0:25:550:25:59

has declined, but tickets issued are still on the increase.

0:25:590:26:04

Motorists are already at the mercy of new technologies and now have

0:26:040:26:08

to contend with the latest in mobile surveillance -

0:26:080:26:11

the CCTV camera car.

0:26:110:26:14

Southend-on-Sea Council have recently purchased two.

0:26:180:26:22

'It's diabolical, they're killing our trade.'

0:26:260:26:29

It forces our customers to shop elsewhere

0:26:290:26:32

because they will not shop down this area with this car floating round.

0:26:320:26:37

I've personally been targeted and had a fine for 30-odd pound.

0:26:370:26:42

The customer can't park in the mornings, from 7.30 to 9.30.

0:26:420:26:48

If they do, the camera car comes along, sits behind them

0:26:480:26:51

and books them.

0:26:510:26:53

It doesn't let you know you've been tagged. That's spying.

0:26:530:26:58

The only time you'll know you've been tagged with that car is

0:26:580:27:00

when that letter hits the door mat and then you feel abused, don't you?

0:27:000:27:05

If it's a traffic warden, a traffic warden gives time

0:27:050:27:08

for the customer to come back out the shop and move the vehicle.

0:27:080:27:12

The camera car does not give that time.

0:27:120:27:15

They pull up straight behind and book them.

0:27:150:27:18

People do just quickly think, "Oh, I'm just going to go to the bank,

0:27:180:27:21

"I'll quickly just draw some money out the cashpoint."

0:27:210:27:23

It's undercover, it's clandestine, isn't it?

0:27:230:27:26

I think it's disgusting.

0:27:260:27:27

That's just savage. That's Nazism, that is.

0:27:270:27:30

It's our way of lives at stake.

0:27:300:27:31

Bob has run his own independent print shop for the last 15 years.

0:27:360:27:40

I guess people round the town are pissed off. It's big brother.

0:27:400:27:43

It's not the right way for the council to be behaving.

0:27:430:27:46

They're terrorising the people of the town.

0:27:500:27:52

They're affecting people's daily lives, affecting local businesses,

0:27:520:27:55

yeah, and I've just stood up and said, "No, enough is enough."

0:27:550:27:59

I've made up an agenda.

0:27:590:28:02

This is a mixture of last week's action points

0:28:020:28:06

and I've put some extra points in.

0:28:060:28:08

Bob, along with other concerned members of the local community,

0:28:080:28:11

has decided to form an action group against the use of the camera car.

0:28:110:28:15

Right now we need to get them to sit up

0:28:150:28:18

and pay attention to what's been said, because, at the moment, all

0:28:180:28:21

they're doing, they're just proving that we don't live in a democracy.

0:28:210:28:25

The spy car, really, it's the straw that's broken the camel's back.

0:28:250:28:29

It's pushed everything over the edge

0:28:290:28:31

and the council have been getting away with too much for too long.

0:28:310:28:34

But the first thing on here from last week was a group name.

0:28:340:28:38

and I've thought of two.

0:28:380:28:40

One - Preserve Southend.

0:28:400:28:44

And the other - Welcome to Southend.

0:28:440:28:46

I rather like SOS Spy Cars.

0:28:460:28:49

SOS Spy Cars.

0:28:490:28:51

Have you got any name that you think appropriate?

0:28:510:28:54

Well, I had a number.

0:28:540:28:57

The Friendlier Parking Club.

0:28:570:28:59

Or the Common Sense Parking Club, the Rational Parking Club.

0:28:590:29:04

Perhaps it's a bit too posh, really.

0:29:040:29:07

If we tooled out a spy car...

0:29:070:29:08

So we don't like Preserve Southend then, to preserve our town?

0:29:080:29:11

It's too long.

0:29:110:29:13

It's got to be short and snappy and be memorable.

0:29:130:29:16

We need to...

0:29:160:29:17

Right, OK, so have we agreed on a name then?

0:29:170:29:20

SOS Spy Cars.

0:29:200:29:22

Right, OK.

0:29:220:29:23

Point four. Agreement was reached to develop 1984 theme for the spy car.

0:29:270:29:31

Action is me to develop a poster.

0:29:310:29:33

I didn't email it to you but I have come up with...

0:29:330:29:35

I have enhanced the idea a little bit.

0:29:350:29:37

It's very eye-catching.

0:29:490:29:51

Should it be, "Was this the future?" or, "Is this the future?"

0:29:510:29:54

Well, that's the whole twist, isn't it?

0:29:540:29:56

We're trying to change it, aren't we?

0:29:560:29:58

I mean, George Orwell said in the '40s that 1984 was the future,

0:29:580:30:02

actually it's about 30 years later than he predicted,

0:30:020:30:06

so therefore was it the future?

0:30:060:30:07

No, I'm not... Don't get me wrong,

0:30:070:30:09

but, "Is Big brother Watching You!"

0:30:090:30:12

should be capital B for brother and a question mark at the end.

0:30:120:30:15

But, I mean, it's brilliant. I mean, brilliant.

0:30:150:30:18

But, yes, you're right, that is a question mark.

0:30:180:30:20

-And it should be a big B.

-Big Brother, yes, yes.

0:30:200:30:22

I think it's brilliant, I'm not nitpicking, I'm just..

0:30:220:30:24

But other than that?

0:30:240:30:26

Very, very good, yeah.

0:30:260:30:27

Yeah? What's happening here is happening nationwide

0:30:270:30:31

so my own personal feeling is the objective of us

0:30:310:30:34

as a group should be to get rid of the spy car. That simple.

0:30:340:30:38

Mission statement completed,

0:30:400:30:42

Bob calls in motorbike gang the No-To Mob

0:30:420:30:45

to deal with the camera car.

0:30:450:30:47

Hopefully, you'll be able to provide us with sufficient intelligence

0:30:470:30:50

so that we can go down and properly investigate the cars

0:30:500:30:53

and the way they're being operated, so it's a two-way street.

0:30:530:30:56

Yeah, I mean, one of the things we find that they do use

0:30:560:30:59

the small parade of shops as their hunting ground.

0:30:590:31:01

Oh, well, that sounds good.

0:31:010:31:03

And the councils are just kicking the small businesses in the crutch.

0:31:030:31:06

I can see the problem that you've got down there and I think

0:31:060:31:08

you've got one of those arrogant councils that think that they

0:31:080:31:11

know best, and we will be bringing it to their attention, shall we say.

0:31:110:31:15

-RADIO RECEIVER:

-'Bald Eagle, if you're within radio range,

0:31:170:31:20

'we are still on London Road.'

0:31:200:31:23

They've got two cars.

0:31:230:31:25

The first thing is to locate the cars.

0:31:250:31:28

They're both there.

0:31:280:31:30

We are just around the corner from you, I believe.

0:31:300:31:34

It's a needle in a haystack.

0:31:340:31:36

Where's he going?

0:31:360:31:38

-INTERVIEWER:

-Is it like a game?

0:31:390:31:41

It's more chess really.

0:31:410:31:43

-RADIO RECEIVER:

-'Bald Eagle, Bald Eagle, we have a car, over.'

0:31:430:31:47

There they are, right in front of us. Right on the sea-front.

0:31:470:31:51

You've just got to outwit them, that's all.

0:31:510:31:55

When you do find it, it's a huge buzz.

0:31:550:31:59

It's a huge buzz and you've got it.

0:31:590:32:01

Because once you've got it now you're going to make them

0:32:010:32:04

do proper enforcement, not hide from the general public and fine them.

0:32:040:32:08

You're going to be able to tell the public,

0:32:080:32:10

"Listen, you're not going to hide now,

0:32:100:32:12

"we're going to tell the public where you are

0:32:120:32:14

"and that's what your job's supposed to be."

0:32:140:32:17

There are strict guidelines laid down by the Secretary of State

0:32:170:32:21

that govern how these cars must be used.

0:32:210:32:23

They must only operate where it is difficult or

0:32:230:32:26

impractical for a traffic warden to patrol on foot.

0:32:260:32:30

These cars are not being used in that way.

0:32:300:32:33

They're being deployed willy-nilly.

0:32:330:32:36

This is statutory guidance, you must comply with it, and they're not.

0:32:360:32:41

They're not. They're just sending the cars out where it's equally

0:32:410:32:44

practical for a CO to go.

0:32:440:32:46

At the moment,

0:32:490:32:50

the vast majority of councils are not listening to the public and it

0:32:500:32:55

seems that it's become all about the money and less about public service.

0:32:550:33:00

It's not just mobile cameras that are catching motorists.

0:33:040:33:08

Bus lane cameras are the fastest growing

0:33:080:33:11

method of enforcement in the UK.

0:33:110:33:14

Since last year, the number of tickets

0:33:140:33:16

issued for driving in them has shot up to over half a million.

0:33:160:33:20

Brighton and Hove City Council use cameras to monitor their bus lanes.

0:33:260:33:30

The aim is to keep them free of traffic in a city that wants

0:33:300:33:33

to promote the use of public transport.

0:33:330:33:36

Andy Capie was caught and given a £60 penalty.

0:33:380:33:42

There's some little guy in his office up there with the camera,

0:33:420:33:46

sort of, "Oh, there's one!" And start controlling the CCTV,

0:33:460:33:50

you know, with his joysticks, I guess he has.

0:33:500:33:53

So, yeah, it's down to one individual up there,

0:33:550:33:58

by chance, seeing me in the wrong place at the wrong time.

0:33:580:34:02

"Get him, got to get him."

0:34:020:34:05

Today is Andy's tribunal hearing.

0:34:050:34:08

His defence is that the sign warning him

0:34:080:34:11

not to turn in to the bus lane was not visible at the time.

0:34:110:34:14

You'll see on my photograph it is not in this position.

0:34:160:34:18

In fact, this was kind of like at that angle, and you'll see it.

0:34:180:34:24

I mean, I've got it on my phone.

0:34:240:34:26

There we go.

0:34:260:34:28

One full-colour, glossy-finish photograph...

0:34:320:34:35

..the evidence that will result in me getting the penalty cancelled.

0:34:370:34:42

Fingers crossed.

0:34:420:34:44

What I object to is you are considered to be guilty

0:34:470:34:50

until proven innocent.

0:34:500:34:53

I think most people will get the letter saying, "You are fined £30.

0:34:530:34:56

"We've got evidence that you've gone in to this bus lane.

0:34:560:35:00

"If you don't pay within two weeks or appeal, then it goes up to 60."

0:35:000:35:05

They'll go, "I'll pay the £30."

0:35:050:35:07

And that's what the schemes encourage.

0:35:070:35:11

They encourage people to admit to something even if they're

0:35:110:35:16

not in the wrong, because they have the threat of the fine

0:35:160:35:20

doubling within a quite short space of time.

0:35:200:35:23

Present we have Mr Andy Capie.

0:35:230:35:25

From Brighton & Hove City Council, we have Mr Iain Worrall.

0:35:270:35:31

Would you like to then tell me what challenge you make to this?

0:35:310:35:35

OK.

0:35:350:35:37

Well, the one photograph that I want,

0:35:370:35:38

that I've printed off so you get a much better view is this one.

0:35:380:35:41

And, basically, in that photograph,

0:35:410:35:43

it shows this no right hand turn sign.

0:35:430:35:46

You make the point clearly.

0:35:460:35:48

Mr Worrall, how do you respond to that?

0:35:480:35:51

That does rather challenge the council's evidence

0:35:510:35:54

of adequate signage on this particular occasion.

0:35:540:35:57

Yeah. I accept, actually, that, from the photographs that you've

0:35:580:36:02

sent in, that the no right turn sign isn't the correct way round.

0:36:020:36:07

So, yeah, I totally accept what you're saying there.

0:36:070:36:10

Right.

0:36:100:36:11

I think we find... I'm satisfied that on this particular day

0:36:130:36:16

the signage was defective because it was not in the right position

0:36:160:36:20

and visible and therefore you get the benefit of that doubt.

0:36:200:36:23

I will find this contravention did not happen and I will cancel

0:36:230:36:26

or instruct the council to cancel this Penalty Charge Notice.

0:36:260:36:29

OK. Good.

0:36:290:36:30

And just before we end, is there any potential for claiming expenses?

0:36:300:36:34

You can claim but you won't get them.

0:36:340:36:36

The regulations under which we operate specify

0:36:360:36:39

that that power will only be very rarely exercised.

0:36:390:36:43

So the time it's taken to appeal this and the...

0:36:430:36:46

Time is what it is, I'm afraid.

0:36:460:36:49

-So there's no recompense for that at all?

-No.

0:36:490:36:51

This could have been very easily prevented and I think

0:36:510:36:54

that's a shame, because it has taken up a lot of my time to do this.

0:36:540:36:59

-You're not alone in this.

-No, I know.

0:36:590:37:01

The flexibility and discretion I have is quite

0:37:010:37:03

limited by the government regulations, I'm afraid.

0:37:030:37:05

I know, it's out of your control, yeah.

0:37:050:37:07

-I have to apply those first and foremost and that's what I do.

-OK.

0:37:070:37:11

-Thanks for your time.

-All right, thank you very much then. Thank you.

0:37:110:37:14

This year, bus lane cameras netted Brighton and Hove City Council

0:37:160:37:20

over half a million pounds.

0:37:200:37:23

I do believe it should be enforced.

0:37:230:37:25

Before we had them, the bus lanes were completely clogged with

0:37:250:37:28

vehicles that shouldn't be there and buses didn't run on time.

0:37:280:37:31

And we know, yeah, it is proven that they do work.

0:37:310:37:35

We still get vehicles in the bus lanes - 30 to 40 a day

0:37:350:37:39

on a normal shift - but that's way less than it used to be so we

0:37:390:37:44

know it's effective and we know that the buses run, you know, on time.

0:37:440:37:48

A new bus lane in Medway, Kent

0:37:510:37:53

has caught the attention of the No-To Mob.

0:37:530:37:55

Motorists, oblivious to the signs,

0:37:570:37:59

are driving into the bus lane from two entry points.

0:37:590:38:02

The fine is £60.

0:38:020:38:04

It's going to get you if you come down that bus lane, isn't it?

0:38:040:38:08

Medway are giving out roughly 500 tickets a week to unfortunate

0:38:080:38:12

motorists who are simply not seeing the signs.

0:38:120:38:15

Bald Eagle takes the top entrance to the bus lane.

0:38:150:38:17

Kill Switch and Coco work the other end.

0:38:170:38:21

Right, can I advise you not to turn left or right, you'll get a ticket.

0:38:210:38:24

It's now a bus lane. So you're going to have to do a U-turn.

0:38:240:38:27

You think it's a really bad sign? It isn't clear enough, is it?

0:38:270:38:30

It's not big enough. It's not good enough, is it?

0:38:300:38:34

Oh!

0:38:370:38:38

See, another one didn't see the signs.

0:38:420:38:44

I want Medway Council to come down here and stand with me

0:38:460:38:49

for a little while. Just come and talk to us, that's all we want.

0:38:490:38:53

We just want you to talk to us.

0:38:530:38:56

The man responsible for the cameras in the bus lane is Andy McGrath.

0:38:560:39:00

The council's position is that we would love it if we never

0:39:000:39:04

issued another ticket in that area because that would mean nobody was

0:39:040:39:07

driving through the bus station and that would be our preferred option.

0:39:070:39:12

And we're still issuing, I guess, a significantly higher

0:39:120:39:16

number of tickets than I would have expected but, having said that,

0:39:160:39:19

I've visited the site many times myself

0:39:190:39:22

and it's got 13 statutory signs

0:39:220:39:24

explaining that you can't drive a car through there.

0:39:240:39:29

Medway Council at the moment are burying their heads in the sand.

0:39:290:39:32

They're saying, "No, we've got the right signs."

0:39:320:39:34

Yes, you have got the right signs.

0:39:340:39:36

The problem is people aren't seeing them. That's not fair.

0:39:360:39:39

HE WHISTLES LOUDLY

0:39:410:39:45

You're very welcome. Thank you. Cheers. Bye.

0:39:470:39:49

Stop! Stop!

0:39:530:39:54

60 quid, mate!

0:39:590:40:01

It's cost you 60 quid!

0:40:010:40:02

Some people don't want to get helped.

0:40:040:40:06

Oh, well, win some and then the council wins some more.

0:40:090:40:13

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

0:40:130:40:16

It's a pot of honey for the council and for the enforcement authority.

0:40:160:40:21

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

0:40:210:40:24

Hello, mate. I just want to warn you

0:40:240:40:26

if you go left or right ahead you're going to get a £60 fine.

0:40:260:40:28

-Did you see the signs?

-No, I didn't.

0:40:280:40:31

No, I know you didn't.

0:40:310:40:32

-That's another 60 quid the council aren't going to get.

-Yeah.

0:40:340:40:38

In seven-and-a-half hours,

0:40:380:40:40

the No-To Mob managed to stop 166 motorists from using the bus lane,

0:40:400:40:46

saving them £10,000 worth of fines.

0:40:460:40:49

-You're absolutely fantastic.

-Thank you very much.

0:40:500:40:52

You really, really are. You deserve, you know,

0:40:520:40:55

every good thing that comes your way,

0:40:550:40:57

cos you're, you know, for the people, as it were, you know.

0:40:570:41:01

You're absolutely spectacular, you really, really, really are.

0:41:010:41:03

Thank you very much.

0:41:030:41:04

Parkex is Europe's largest parking trade show.

0:41:140:41:17

Each year, companies come here to sell the latest technology

0:41:210:41:24

in parking enforcement to local councils.

0:41:240:41:28

We're very pleased to bring to market our latest offer,

0:41:300:41:33

which is the product of two years of R&D, so this year we're very

0:41:330:41:36

pleased to come to Parkex and launch this product.

0:41:360:41:39

It's a lucrative industry, worth over £1 billion.

0:41:390:41:43

OK, this is an example of perhaps one of the more modern

0:41:430:41:46

kinds of parking machines.

0:41:460:41:48

I grant you, it doesn't look terribly modern,

0:41:480:41:50

but it looks pretty familiar to us all.

0:41:500:41:53

The No-To Mob intend to visit the show

0:41:530:41:55

to gather fresh intelligence on the latest technology.

0:41:550:41:59

We can be clandestine if we need to be and we fully expect

0:41:590:42:03

to get thrown out because we will be unveiling a little present for them.

0:42:030:42:08

But I'll keep that one under my hat for now.

0:42:080:42:13

'Bald Eagle, Bald Eagle, this is Coco, are you receiving? Over.'

0:42:220:42:26

'Bruce, Bruce are you receiving? Over.'

0:42:280:42:31

They all go down there and pat themselves on the back, essentially.

0:42:310:42:34

And, "We're going to sell this to the councils

0:42:340:42:36

"the best way that we can,

0:42:360:42:38

"so that we can encourage them to increase their revenue."

0:42:380:42:41

They'll never admit it to you

0:42:430:42:45

but we know exactly what Parkex is about.

0:42:450:42:48

'Sorry, say again, say again. It's Coco. Over.'

0:42:480:42:50

It's huge. The money that's involved

0:42:520:42:55

and when there's a lot of money at stake, then you're looking at greed.

0:42:550:43:00

Pure and simple.

0:43:000:43:03

It's a drug.

0:43:030:43:04

They're hooked on it

0:43:040:43:05

and they can't see the damage that this is doing to the local economy.

0:43:050:43:11

We want them to know that we're keeping an eye on them, definitely.

0:43:130:43:17

When Barry took his case to the High Court,

0:43:320:43:35

he became embroiled in a two-year legal battle.

0:43:350:43:39

In the end, the judge ruled against him and he lost.

0:43:390:43:42

The risk is that you've got to pay the costs of not only your own

0:43:440:43:48

barristers but the barristers of the defendants.

0:43:480:43:52

Court costs mean Barry now stands to lose everything.

0:43:540:43:58

-INTERVIEWER:

-How much do you owe because of that case?

0:43:580:44:01

It's around about £43,000 now.

0:44:010:44:04

They are trying to get me out of my house by selling the house

0:44:060:44:10

and putting me out on the street.

0:44:100:44:12

We can't pay it.

0:44:120:44:13

If they've got to sell the house to get the money,

0:44:130:44:17

then unfortunately that's the way it's got to be.

0:44:170:44:19

It's the wife who is very stressed out over it, because of it.

0:44:210:44:25

I built this house with my own hands, with the help of the wife.

0:44:300:44:34

We built it with our own hands and it is now at risk.

0:44:430:44:48

Do you have any regrets?

0:44:480:44:51

No, I have no regrets, no. None at all.

0:44:510:44:53

So losing the house doesn't worry you?

0:44:560:44:58

Yes, it does worry me a little, yeah, yeah.

0:45:010:45:05

Yeah.

0:45:050:45:06

Yeah, because I've finally... I've finally got somewhere that

0:45:080:45:12

I wanted, a house with a south-facing rear aspect and the sheep on

0:45:120:45:19

the field at the back, they come up and they take bread out your fingers.

0:45:190:45:24

It does worry me a little, yeah, but I can't do nothing about it.

0:45:240:45:29

So, in hindsight, would you do it again?

0:45:310:45:35

Yes. Yes.

0:45:370:45:39

A lot of people will question why did I risk my house

0:45:430:45:47

to go to the High Court but you don't think that

0:45:470:45:52

it's going to be at risk when you do it, otherwise you wouldn't do it.

0:45:520:45:56

If I thought for one minute that I was going to lose,

0:45:580:46:01

I wouldn't have gone anywhere near the High Court.

0:46:010:46:04

Anyone who goes to the High Court always think they're going to win.

0:46:040:46:08

Today, Richard is taking his case to the High Court.

0:46:090:46:13

They're not fit.

0:46:130:46:15

They're not fit to be allowed to run parking.

0:46:180:46:23

I want to put them in their place.

0:46:230:46:25

I want to put them in their place and when the High Court judge

0:46:250:46:27

has told them, "Don't do this, don't do that," then they've been told.

0:46:270:46:32

He hopes the evidence he's gathered will be enough to convince a judge

0:46:320:46:35

that his council are illegally using parking to raise revenue.

0:46:350:46:40

Making these bundles up has cost a packet.

0:46:400:46:43

-INTERVIEWER:

-Do you worry about that?

0:46:450:46:47

The expense that you've gone to and...

0:46:470:46:48

No, no, because, eventually, I'll take this to court,

0:46:480:46:52

I'll prove Camden Council are up to an awful lot of no good and then

0:46:520:46:56

they'll stop issuing all the tickets they do and...etc, etc.

0:46:560:47:00

And then I won't have to spend endless hours every week, writing

0:47:000:47:05

letters to tickets that should never have been issued in the first place.

0:47:050:47:09

Is there a risk involved, going to the High Court?

0:47:090:47:12

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

0:47:120:47:13

Probably a 100 grand, 200 grand bill if it all goes wrong,

0:47:130:47:17

something like that.

0:47:170:47:19

Are you confident?

0:47:190:47:21

Yeah. Yeah, I'm well confident.

0:47:210:47:23

If I lose this, it's bent.

0:47:370:47:40

The battle lines between motorist and council have been drawn

0:47:400:47:43

and the fight looks set to continue.

0:47:430:47:46

There needs to be trust between the citizens in their cars

0:47:470:47:52

and the authorities.

0:47:520:47:54

At present, it doesn't always appear that that trust

0:47:540:47:58

exists on either side.

0:47:580:48:01

When it stops is when the council sees sense

0:48:010:48:04

and realise that they can't use motorists as cash cows.

0:48:040:48:10

They cannot use revenue-driven enforcements, it's against the law.

0:48:100:48:13

It's as simple as that.

0:48:130:48:14

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:48:290:48:33

Observational documentary about people who fight their parking tickets.

In 2012, more parking tickets are issued in the UK than ever before and new technologies to catch motorists continue to be deployed across the country. This film follows the stories of both the council parking enforcement departments who issue tickets - and the motorists who have decided to fight back against the system.

Aside from the stories of the ordinary motorists fighting their individual tickets, the film also follows 'parking campaigners', dedicated amateurs who insist that the councils are unjustly punishing motorists and using parking as a way to raise revenues. These individuals are passionate about pointing out the injustices of the system, battling the councils and saving other motorists from receiving 'unjust tickets'. Their methods are extremely varied. Some get tickets deliberately to prove their point, others take their parking tickets to the High Court, whilst one group have even formed a masked motorcycle gang to take their fight to the streets.

The film also hears from the other side of the issue - the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, the legally-binding national body that has the final say on whether motorists must pay their parking tickets or not.


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