Council blunder could force £1m parking fines payback


A London council has been left red-faced after discovering it may have to hand back more than £1 million to motorists in illegal parking charges.

Richmond Council in south-west London is considering paying back the charges because of claims that cameras mounted on the council's two CCTV cars were not correctly certified and has been issuing illegal fines as far back as 2009.

Local resident Nigel Wise, who discovered the error, has demanded the council pay back all the fines wrongfully charged.

"Tens of thousands of people who have been subjected to these unlawful penalties will be interested in obtaining refunds. It is an absolute scandal," he told the Richmond and Twickenham Times.

The 59-year-old successfully appealed against a £100 fine after he discovered that the camera on the vehicle that snapped him had not been declared an 'approved device' by the Vehicle Certification Agency.

According to pressure group Big Brother Watch, Richmond Council issued more than 12,000 tickets in 2009-10, which raked in a hefty £573,000 while the London Motorists' Action Group branded the situation 'scandalous'.

Both camera cars are being kept off the borough's roads and Richmond Council has asked for a full investigation but whether or not drivers get their cash back has not yet been confirmed.