Driver wins Exeter parking fine battle
A DRIVER who contested a parking fine is hoping her success may help other motorists.
Dr Wendy Lawrenson has been battling to get the penalty overturned since July 22, last year.
Wendy Lawrenson, who successfully fought a parking fine OLIVER SANDERS EE240109_OS02_02
It was on that day she parked in Wonford Street, Exeter, without a residents' parking ticket, believing there were no restrictions in force there.
Just days before, the road had been changed to a residents-only parking zone by Devon County Council.
Dr Lawrenson, 62, who owns a property in the area, came back to her car and found a £70 fixed penalty notice on it.
She said: "I saw no signs to say that the area had been made into residents-only parking.
"If I had paid the fine within 14 days it would have been reduced to £35 but because I appealed twice I lost the right to pay the lower fee. Had I neither appealed within 28 days nor paid the fine during that time it would have increased to £105.
"In December, I appealed again, this time to the independent adjudicator. I received notification that Devon County Council had been granted permission to submit further evidence, which is why I put together my case."
Dr Lawrenson, from Holsworthy, a psychology lecturer for the Open University, took photos of the street to aid her appeal.
She said: "It was a long process and it would have been easy to have capitulated at any time. The second stage of my appeal was refused on the grounds no one else had complained about the signs, but I later found out this wasn't the case.
"I was unaware the signs were inappropriate and my defence was that there simply were no obvious signs at all. I had not seen the signs at the entrance to Wonford Street, which were later deemed inappropriate, and the white-lined parking bays were still in place. My concern is that there may be others who paid a fine unnecessarily."
Exeter City Council, which carries out parking enforcement for the county council, contacted Dr Lawrenson just days before her tribunal which was due to take place last week to say it would not be contesting the appeal and cancelled the penalty notice.
Devon's highways department gained approval for the signs in August and the road is now officially a residents' parking area. No one from the council was available for comment.