Are Southport’s parking charges ‘unlawful and unreasonable’ because of ‘old coin’ rules?


A Southport councillor is backing a resident who claims the parking machines in the town may be unlawful because they do not accept  the current coinage which has been in circulation for four years.

Southport Lib Dem Councillor has questioned whether the rules being used by Sefton Council pass the Common Law test of ‘reasonableness’ and has asked the legal director to explain Sefton Council’s position on the matter.He says:
“I totally understand the frustration of residents and visitors to the town alike. How are they meant to know before they set off for town on a wet and windy day that they are going to be required to find particular old coins? This is not fair or reasonable. What are they expected to do when they arrive in town to find the coins which will fit the machines which do not give change?”
“The government deliberately delayed the introduction of new coinage in order to allow operators of machines taking coins, such as Councils, to alter their settings. I understand that the machines are finally going to be replaced but four years is far too long in anybody’s book.”
And Councillor Dawson has limited praise for the announcement today by government minister Eric Pickles that he is going to give a ten minute ‘leeway’ period to motorists who overstay their pay-and-display time.
“It sounds good on paper till you realise that everyone who has paid for 30 minutes will now think they have 40 minutes parking. So there will end up being the same number of disputes about time, just a few minutes later. And if they do not get the money in, Councils such as Sefton will simply put up the prices even more.  Like many ideas that Mr Pickles has, his heart is in the right place but his brain is somewhere else.”
“As I said during last night’s Council budget debate, there are many other issues relating to parking services which need to be addressed in a proper Parking Review – not least Residents’ Parking schemes and the issue of penalising people who pay the right amount but whose tickets ‘flip’ in the wind or drop off their dashboards. But Sefton has refused to conduct such a review.”




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