Westminster council in an undiplomatic parking row

It seems that not a day goes by without the dishonest activities in the parking departments of some London Councils getting reported in the media. But invariably it’s Westminster City Council listed as the worst transgressor and the least willing to apologize.

Today is one of those days when we see four London Councils illegally swindling motorists out of millions of pounds. Since the 1970′s Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Camden, and Islington have been fining, clamping and towing vehicles from special parking bays supposedly reserved for diplomatic parking. But in a typical show of incompetence the four councils seem to have forgotten to obtain the correct permission from the secretary of state for transport for the signs used to designate the special bays, making every PCN issued up until November 2009 unenforceable.

Kevin Goad

Kevin Goad

The borough of Westminster has 196 diplomatic bays, yet a DfT source says that Westminster Council only applied for permission at a handful of bays back in 1978.

Westminsters head of commissioning for city management, Kevin Goad said “If any of our bays were not approved by the Department for Transport in the intervening period this was an oversight that has been corrected.” But by lunchtime Westminsters Director of Transportation, Martin Low said “We have the documents that prove the GLC had the earlier authorisation, we have the current authorisation” “We have a clear conscience we believe that tickets have been properly valid, they’ve been issued, they’re valid, people should pay them“.

No doubt Martin Low will be making those documents available for inspection on the Westminster website today.

We do find it odd that Westminster are quoted as having lost the document detailing which locations were authorised this morning, so perhaps

Marin Low

Martin Low

Martin Low found them behind an old filling cabinet just in time for the lunch time news.

That would be very handy for the Council because without that document the Council could face having to pay back millions in fines collected illegally since the late 70′s.

The way things stand now councils have been extremely reluctant to pay back any fines they’ve taken from the public illegally. But a pending high court case led by Barry Moss could set a legal principle forcing councils to pay back all their ill gotten gains without the need for fleeced motorists to submit their own individual compensation claims.

Related stories:

BBC News three-decade parking error

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4 Comments

paybacktimeFebruary 1st, 2010 at 8:41 pm

PIP, partners in (p)crime and Westminster council is the leader, they are just doing what they want, inventing laws to extort money from motorists and bikers.

DanFebruary 1st, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Hey, nice to see Martin Low wheeled out in front of the cameras, such a cocky cunt as well. Thinks he can fluff his way out of this to keep his comfortable salary.

Is that right Martin, cos I thought you were working for a private limited company, are you now officially working for Westminster. Or are you the cocky sod they wheel out when no one else wants to go in front of the cameras?

Don’t be so cocky on camera Martin, we pay your wages, so show some respect!

ConsideringLeavingFebruary 2nd, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Westminster really are hypocritical twats. They moaned on and on in the press about diplomats not paying parking fines and yet still had dedicated spaces for diplomats to park in. If diplomats don’t pay parking fines then why do they bother with special spaces? Let them park where they like.

Martin Low is a despicable liar, if he has documents why hasn’t he produced them for us all to see?

[...] sure is taking Marin low a long time to find the map marking out the diplomatic bays (see: undiplomatic parking and this [...]

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