The country’s leading road traffic lawyer has jumped on the Harrogate Vote Leave battle bus ticketing row.
Nick Freeman, aka Mr Loophole, called Harrogate Borough Council’s decision to pursue a parking enforcement notice after initially rescinding it as “yoyo” ticketing, and “tantamount to an abuse of process”.
Yesterday the bright red bus – parked in Harrogate town centre – was issued with a fixed penalty notice for allegedly parking illegally.
Ten minutes later, the same traffic warden who issued the ticket returned, having received advice, and removed it from the windscreen. Vote Leave campaigners were told it had “been rescinded”.
However, a few hours later the council issued a statement from its head of safer communities, which said: “the ticket was removed in error, and, as such, the council will now follow the matter up with the vehicle’s registered keeper.”
Mr Freeman said:
By removing the ticket this confirms: – 1, the vehicle was legally parked and/or 2, permission was given for the vehicle to be so parked. They are not ‘yoyo’ tickets. The ticket was clearly issued in error as opposed to being rescinded in error.
Harrogate Borough Council has no power to require the registered keeper to nominate the driver. Such power is vested exclusively in the chief officer of police.
Additionally, there is no financial penalty to be discharged because the original ticket was removed.
It’s unfortunate that the parking enforcement officer didn’t feel it appropriate to have an advisory conversation with the bus driver who had purchased a ticket. Not really in the spirit of the regulations!