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Ticket victory 'is not enough'
A PARKING campaigner who won victory for scores of unfairly fined motorists says the Local Government Ombudsman did not go far enough.
David Hulse was one of five motorists who took his case to the ombudsman over a change in parking fees.
That led to Cherwell District Council repaying £11,600 to drivers who had been ticketed between April 4 and 13, 2011.
But he said drivers ticketed after that date also deserve to have fines refunded.
Last April the council introduced night-time fees in Bicester and Banbury and started charging blue badge holders.
But it failed to put up signs warning motorists of the changes, the ombudsman ruled.
Mr Hulse’s wife Norma, who has a blue badge, was one of those fined £80 after unwittingly parking in Bicester and failing to buy a 70p ticket.
Mr Hulse, who lives in Grendon Underwood, near Bicester, said: “I don’t feel the ombudsman has actually appreciated all of the facts and has not weighted heavily enough against the council.”
The council says it put up signs, where possible on April 14, to warn people of the change in charging.
But Mr Hulse said the signs were not adequate, and included one A4 size laminated sign to cover Bure Place car park, and the A-board style signs it put up outside Bure Place and Crown Walk car parks constantly fell over.
Mr Hulse said he has now written back to the ombudsman asking it to look at the council’s actions after April 13.
He said: “I’m not happy, and think there are still people who have been unfairly penalised and have not been dealt with fairly. I think the ombudsman got the whole approach to it right, but hasn’t appreciated some of the lower level details.”
Jo Davies is among drivers who will get cash back because they were wrongly given tickets.
The Hook Norton resident was fined for not paying when she parked in a marked bay at The Mill Arts Centre in Spiceball Park Road on April 11.
The 47-year-old, who works for Oxford-based charity Young Dementia, said: “There was nothing around me telling me anything had changed. I was appalled.
“Who is going to go to the paying machine if they think it’s free?
“I was disgusted, I felt it was like verging on entrapment.”
Last week the council said it, rather then the ombudsman, had taken the decision to refund all fines given to blue badge holders and evening parkers up to April 13.
The district council’s leader Barry Wood said: “The ombudsman has made her ruling and we have taken what we feel is appropriate action.”