A motorist from Hemel Hempstead has managed to get a parking fine overturned – because photos of his car could not unequivocally prove where he stopped.
While taking his girlfriend to Luton Airport, Brian Winton pulled up just outside the terminal – an area which has a strict ‘no stopping’ restriction.
However after receiving a £80 fine through the post Mr Winton, 56, decided to make an appeal, disputing that he had not parked, as the letter stated, but merely stopped for a matter of 20 seconds.
The 56-year-old’s quibble over the definition of ‘stopping’ and ‘parking’ has paid dividends, as independent adjudicator POPLA has said that the evidence it received from parking firm APCOA was inconclusive.
As a result it has upheld Mr Winton’s complaint.
In her decision POPLA assessor Victoria Thackeray said: “From the photographs provided I am unable to determine where the appellant’s vehicle is situated and whether this is in an area marked as no stopping or not.
“As I cannot see any signs by the vehicle or locate it on the photographs of the area, I am not satisfied it was in a no stopping area and therefore I am not able to conclude that this parking charge was issued correctly.”
Mr Winton, from Hemel Hempstead, told the Gazette: “I had not been to the airport before and didn’t realise there was a no stopping area.
“I pulled up and my girlfriend got her bags out, I was there for less than 20 seconds.
“I would have accepted a fine for stopping but they said I had parked – at no point did I leave my car unattended.”
He added: “I sent them the definition in the dictionary and said ‘take me to court’.
“The picture they had was just of my number plate, it didn’t even show the airport.
“I’m sure many others have received fines like this and paid them, hopefully this should open up a loophole for drivers.”