Dozens of parking tickets wrongly issued across Taunton Deane and West Somerset

On average, more than one ticket a week is issued in error.

On average, more than one ticket a week is issued in error.

First published in News Somerset County Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

HAVE you returned to your car recently to find a bright yellow parking ticket stuck to your windscreen?

Well, it might be worth checking out because parking officers wrongly fined dozens of motorists last year, the County Gazette can reveal.

Civil enforcement officers across Taunton Deane and West Somerset issued more than one ticket per week to drivers who has not fallen foul of the law.

Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show 107 tickets slapped on vehicles between June 11, 2012 and December 31, 2013 were successfully overturned on appeal.

The County Gazette has also learned that Somerset County Council raked in a whopping £434,128 in fines and is awaiting an answer on what was left minus staff costs and other overheads, plus what it has been invested in.

During the 18-month period 11,710 fines were handed out in Taunton Deane, with another 2,164 issued in West Somerset.

Out of these, 97 were issued in error in Taunton Deane, with another ten wrongly dished out in West Somerset.

The figures are for on-street parking breaches and illegal parking in county council-owned car parks, including at Shire Hall in Taunton and West Somerset Railway car park in Minehead.

Taunton Deane Council is responsible for other town centre car parks.

Gail Toop is one motorist who successfully appealed against a fine.

She said: “I was parked in a bus stop with a sign saying when you could and couldn’t park. The council said it didn’t apply to the bus stop but instead outside the stop, so I refused to pay because the sign was confusing.

“Surprisingly enough it still took them six weeks to get someone to come and remove it.”

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “An error can occur for a number of reasons, ranging from the wrong details being recorded to a civil enforcement officer not noticing a permit or ticket on display.

"Despite this, the error rate is less than 1% – a very small number given the amount of tickets correctly issued.”

Comments (8)

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12:40pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Somerset_BTGOG says...

Has anyone else come across the guy in Sainsbury’s car park yet?

On two occasions I've paid for 2 hours of parking whilst shopping in town and Sainsbury’s only to return to my car with less than 5 mins remaining to find him hanging around my car waiting, he even waits whilst I load the kids and shopping in the car before he moves off.

It really bugs me and is a reason I don't shop in Sainsbury’s anymore.
Has anyone else come across the guy in Sainsbury’s car park yet? On two occasions I've paid for 2 hours of parking whilst shopping in town and Sainsbury’s only to return to my car with less than 5 mins remaining to find him hanging around my car waiting, he even waits whilst I load the kids and shopping in the car before he moves off. It really bugs me and is a reason I don't shop in Sainsbury’s anymore. Somerset_BTGOG
  • Score: -6

12:46pm Fri 4 Jul 14

RightToAnOpinion says...

One area the Red Rodney's like dishing out tickets wrongly is at the rear of boots in the crescent car park where the council only rent the parking spaces, they seem to think they have the right to issue them on the broken and partially erased yellow hatchings which are not enforceable in the present condition.
One area the Red Rodney's like dishing out tickets wrongly is at the rear of boots in the crescent car park where the council only rent the parking spaces, they seem to think they have the right to issue them on the broken and partially erased yellow hatchings which are not enforceable in the present condition. RightToAnOpinion
  • Score: 4

2:54pm Fri 4 Jul 14

jellyonaplate says...

Yes there may be cases where the Council have made errors but seriously, in most other cases people should use their common sense when parking and be responsible for their actions. Too many drivers try and plead ignorance. Just pay up and park property next time :)
Yes there may be cases where the Council have made errors but seriously, in most other cases people should use their common sense when parking and be responsible for their actions. Too many drivers try and plead ignorance. Just pay up and park property next time :) jellyonaplate
  • Score: 5

7:01pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Mi_Coc says...

Somerset_BTGOG wrote:
Has anyone else come across the guy in Sainsbury’s car park yet?

On two occasions I've paid for 2 hours of parking whilst shopping in town and Sainsbury’s only to return to my car with less than 5 mins remaining to find him hanging around my car waiting, he even waits whilst I load the kids and shopping in the car before he moves off.

It really bugs me and is a reason I don't shop in Sainsbury’s anymore.
It's a private car park and nothing to do with Taunton Deane. Guy from Eurocar parks always seems ok and often don't pay on my owns cars as there tickets are practically unenforceable. The reason they get funny is. People try an use the car park as all day parking and Sainsburys want people using it to shop not go to work.

Worse I have had on unticked car was note saying if I did it again I would get a ticket.
[quote][p][bold]Somerset_BTGOG[/bold] wrote: Has anyone else come across the guy in Sainsbury’s car park yet? On two occasions I've paid for 2 hours of parking whilst shopping in town and Sainsbury’s only to return to my car with less than 5 mins remaining to find him hanging around my car waiting, he even waits whilst I load the kids and shopping in the car before he moves off. It really bugs me and is a reason I don't shop in Sainsbury’s anymore.[/p][/quote]It's a private car park and nothing to do with Taunton Deane. Guy from Eurocar parks always seems ok and often don't pay on my owns cars as there tickets are practically unenforceable. The reason they get funny is. People try an use the car park as all day parking and Sainsburys want people using it to shop not go to work. Worse I have had on unticked car was note saying if I did it again I would get a ticket. Mi_Coc
  • Score: -5

10:04pm Fri 4 Jul 14

swjoduk says...

In Brodgwater and North Petherton SCC has put down a load of single lines with no signs. As far as I am aware these are unenforceable without signing. Otherwise how are you supposes to know when you can and can't park. Some of these lines have been in place around a year.
In Brodgwater and North Petherton SCC has put down a load of single lines with no signs. As far as I am aware these are unenforceable without signing. Otherwise how are you supposes to know when you can and can't park. Some of these lines have been in place around a year. swjoduk
  • Score: 0

8:33am Sat 5 Jul 14

swjoduk says...

Bridgwater*
Bridgwater* swjoduk
  • Score: 0

9:42am Sat 5 Jul 14

hamtune says...

It would be helpful if the enforcement officers would ticket the people who park their cars on pedestrian foot ways, often forcing pedestrians to walk on the road! It would also be useful if they would report expired or non existent tax discs.
It would be helpful if the enforcement officers would ticket the people who park their cars on pedestrian foot ways, often forcing pedestrians to walk on the road! It would also be useful if they would report expired or non existent tax discs. hamtune
  • Score: 8

3:58pm Sat 5 Jul 14

RightToAnOpinion says...

hamtune wrote:
It would be helpful if the enforcement officers would ticket the people who park their cars on pedestrian foot ways, often forcing pedestrians to walk on the road! It would also be useful if they would report expired or non existent tax discs.
Won't be any tax discs to spot after October but they should tow vehicles obstructing footpaths.
[quote][p][bold]hamtune[/bold] wrote: It would be helpful if the enforcement officers would ticket the people who park their cars on pedestrian foot ways, often forcing pedestrians to walk on the road! It would also be useful if they would report expired or non existent tax discs.[/p][/quote]Won't be any tax discs to spot after October but they should tow vehicles obstructing footpaths. RightToAnOpinion
  • Score: 1

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