A parking campaigner who managed to claw back £1m for motorists wrongly ticketed has vowed to take on Merton Council after it fined a woman whose parking ticket “curled up”.
Nigel Wise, 59, labelled Merton Council’s decision to uphold the penalty “disgusting” and claimed its parking enforcement was unfairly “revenue driven”.
The campaigner already has an impressive record of fighting unfair penalties, having been the driving force behind Richmond Council removing mobile CCTV enforcement vehicles from the roads and refunding more than £1.1m to 18,500 motorists.
Mr Wise is taking on a new challenge in an attempt to get Merton Council to refund a parking ticket given Debbie King after her £10 ticket got wet in the rain and curled up on the windscreen obscuring the necessary details.
On appeal, Merton Council refused to see reason and upheld the fine that Mrs King paid.
Mr Wise said: “At Merton Council there is no doubt that it’s all revenue driven and it should not be.
“Their parking enforcement protocols are all out of date and not in line with other areas where they have protocols that allow for their cancellation.
“Even its website does not give any details about mitigating circumstances when sending in parking representations.”
Councillor Jeff Hanna has also lent his support to Mrs King urging the council’s officers to “bring a human face to their roles.”
In a letter to Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, he said: “You will be as concerned as I am that residents are treated reasonably, sympathetically and fairly.
“I do not know if these cases result from an unnecessarily harsh management approach, or if a few individual officers need to be advised to apply judgement more flexibly.”
Mrs King said: “Mr Wise pointed out I may have made it difficult to have it refunded by paying the fine, thereby admitting guilt.
“There could be a lesson in that maybe it is worth challenging the council rather than just giving up as I did?
“I would like to thank Mr Wise for the trouble he has taken to contact me and the efforts he is making to get my fine reimbursed.”
After speaking with Mr Wise, Paul Walshe, the council’s parking manager, agreed to look at the circumstances again, but has decided to uphold the fine.
A spokesman for Merton Council said: “We have reviewed the case as promised, and have found no grounds to overturn our decision.”