'Metric Martyr' To Take On Parking Wardens

A man being dubbed the "metric martyr" is today launching a landmark legal challenge to ask for a judicial review into current parking laws.

Neil Herron, 45, from Sunderland, will appear at London's High Court to ask for a review of the system that allows local councils to issue parking fines, in a move that could see the return of hundreds of millions of pounds of penalties to drivers.

Since the Government gave councils the responsibility of handing out parking tickets, instead of the police, there has been a ten-fold increase in the amount of tickets issued.

Mr Herron, from the campaign group Parking Appeals, is calling for stricter laws which would challenge parking enforcement. He is expected to argue that many tickets are invalid, as there are flaws in the regulations which cover Controlled Parking Zones. Adding that under the wording of the current law, any zone containing marking like zigzags, bus lanes, or pelican and zebra crossings, are unlawful. Therefore making the tickets issued in those zones invalid.

He has argued that controlled parking zones can only legally contain single yellow, double yellow or parking spaces, and any red lines within them invalidate the zone. Also, he stated councils do not always erect signs required to tell drivers when they can park on yellow lines.

Mr Herron said: "If you're a minute late back from a meeting you get a £120 fine. If you're an inch over a white bay, you get a £120 fine.

"The law's a two-way street and if we have to comply with the law, the most important thing is that the councils comply with the law."

Mr Herron also says that the Traffic Penalty Tribunal is funded by a payment, received direct from councils, of 60p for every ticket issued.

This means if the adjudicators overturned a large amount of parking decisions, their funding would subsequently cut, leaving their jobs in jeopardy.

The 45-year-old market trader - who is running the campaign from his 'Parking Appeals' website - will argue this is a breach of the human right to a fair trial.

A decision on the case - contested by Sunderland Council on behalf of all local authorities - is due within a matter of weeks.

Mr Herron is also the director of the 'Metric Martyrs' - a group that led a successful campaign to scrap European Union plans to force traders to display only metric measurements.


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