Ex-Peterborough MP candidate wins court battle over parking fine at city car park

Ed Murphy at the car park in Church Walk EMN-190327-141150009
Ed Murphy at the car park in Church Walk EMN-190327-141150009
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A former city candidate for Parliament has defeated a private parking company in court after a long-running battle over a disputed ticket.

Ed Murphy was victorious at Peterborough County Court on Monday after challenging a £100 fine he received back in October 2017.

The ticket, which would have been reduced to £60 if paid within a fortnight, was issued after Mr Murphy parked in a car park in Church Walk, near Lincoln Road in Millfield.

The Labour and Co-operative member for Ravensthorpe on Peterborough City Council, and former parliamentary candidate in Peterborough, said he successfully argued that the signage at the car park was inadequate.

He is now encouraging others who feel they have been wrongly fined to challenge their tickets in court.

The car park next to Unite, the Union’s office, is run by Vehicle Control Services Ltd, based in Sheffield. Spaces are split between visitor and designated parking.

Mr Murphy claimed he offered to settle his dispute by paying £50, but that this was rejected.

He said: “I have had a successful experience recently assisting others in the county court, particularly people facing eviction.

“I’ve always found the district judges very sympathetic and reasonable and do urge people to use the courts and submit a defence when they think it’s appropriate.

“This time I was representing myself, and as the company couldn’t demonstrate that there was proper signage I was successful.

“I emailed the company and eventually managed to speak to one of their legal team, then I went through arbitration and even offered an agreed settlement on two occasions, but they weren’t willing to accept any suggestions that they were in the wrong. So I’m glad that they lost in court.”

Mr Murphy added that there should be a review nationally into parking enforcement, in particular where there are “confusing car parking sites with multiple ownership and different parking restrictions from one parking space to another”.

A representative for Vehicle Control Services Limited said: “We are currently reviewing the judge’s decision and are unable to comment at this time.”

According to advice charity Citizen’s Advice, people who plan to appeal a parking ticket should not pay it to begin with, as this is usually seen as an admission the ticket was right.

They should check the company issuing the ticket is a member of an accredited trade association, before appealing directly to it.

If that fails Citizens Advice says they should appeal to an independent appeals service.