Barrister concludes controversial Coventry council parking scheme is enforceable; The city centre parking scheme has proved to be a big talking point in recent weeks.
A barrister has concluded that Coventry City Council's city centre parking zone is enforceable - subject to adequate signage.
Council bosses had previously announced plans to instruct a barrister to challenge recent findings by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal's (TPT) Chief Adjudicator,who made scathing commentsabout thecity centre Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ).
The report by Chief Adjudicator Caroline Sheppard OBE, published earlier this month, described the RPZ as "unenforceable" and that signs were "confusing".
The report came as a result of the TPT investigating five separate parking tickets issued within the RPZ - an area which has seen almost 60,000 fines issued in the last six years.
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But despite the tribunal directingCoventry City Councilto cancel the five penalty charge notices, the council insist that the RPZ as a whole remains enforceable - and argue that the barrister's judgement confirms this.
The council claim that the barrister - who specialises in this area of the law - found that the issues highlighted in the report were site specific to the five appeals and do not call into question the wider enforceability of the whole restricted zone.
However, the barrister has only reached this conclusion subject to adequate signage - signs which were considered confusing by the tribunal.
And the council has confirmed that it is continuing to review signage across the RPZ, replacing signs that have become damaged or have had their visibility compromised.
They have also stated that they are installing additional repeater signage where needed.
Coventry's "unenforceable" parking zone: This is what the council says
Cllr Abdul Khan, Coventry City Council's cabinet member responsible for enforcement, said: "This expert, specialist legal advice reaffirms what we already knew -- that our scheme remains fully enforceable. "The signs were approved by the Department for Transport and the barrister's advice confirms that the adjudicator's ruling on these five tickets has no impact on other fines issued since the scheme started in 2012. "It remains lawful and we will continue to enforce the scheme."
Colin Knight, Coventry City Council's director of transportation and highways, added: "We believe one scheme across the city centre is far less confusing to motorists than different schemes being enforced in neighbouring streets, despite what the adjudicator says. "This can be seen by the fact that the number of tickets issued dropped by 18% between 2011, the last year before the RPZ, and the first year of implementation in 2012. "Over the last six years the RPZ has helped to improve the safety and look of the city and we remain happy to meet with the Chief Adjudicator to discuss our scheme with her further."
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Coventry City Council brought the Restricted Parking Zone scheme into force inCoventryin the summer of 2012.
It meant that inside the city centre, drivers could only park in a marked designated parking bay.
In some places, yellow lines were painted over and the council argued that gateway signs warning people they are parking in a restricted parking zone were sufficient to inform them of the restriction.
Since the RPZ came into effect, 58,536 penalty charge notices have been handed out - though the council stress that more than 70 per cent of these relate to issues such as vehicles parking for longer in marked bays than they paid for, or illegally parking in disabled bays - as opposed to issues relating to the RPZ itself.
Indeed, around 14,000 tickets were directly related to parking in the zone, and some 40 per cent of these are believed to be repeat offenders.
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