Yarm Mayor wins appeal after deliberately landing himself with parking fine

The Northern Echo: PRICE TO PAY: Jason Hadlow PRICE TO PAY: Jason Hadlow

A MAYOR who deliberately landed himself with a fine to test the legality of parking charges in his home town has secured a partial victory.

Jason Hadlow, chairman of Yarm Town Council, parked without a disc on Yarm High Street in March and received a £60 fine.

He argued the entire basis of the Government’s Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in the town was wrong and claimed thousands of parking tickets, amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds, could be invalid.

However, while Mr Hadlow emerged victorious from a Traffic Penalty Tribunal, it did not find anything untoward with the traffic order.

In his ruling, Traffic Tribunal chairman, Stephen Knapp said: “In answer to the question of whether the relevant Traffic Regulation Orders define with sufficient certainty the areas to which the intended disc parking restriction applied, I am satisfied they do.

"My concern is that on the street signing for the particular bay in which Mr Hadlow parked was ambiguous.”

Despite not winning the overall argument, Mr Hadlow still called on Stockton Borough Council to review its policy in Yarm and abandon plans to introduce pay and display parking.

Mr Hadlow said: “This ruling fundamentally undermines the whole premise for Pay and Display in Yarm.

“Stockton Borough Council claim that because three times more Penalty Control Notices (PCNs) are issued in Yarm than anywhere else in Stockton borough, some 3,500 annually, this demonstrates that motorists are confused by the disc parking arrangements and that Pay and Display would solve this problem.

"This ruling dispels that particular myth. More PCN's are issued in Yarm because the signage is unclear, incorrectly positioned and inadequate. Perhaps Stockton council might now listen to the people of Yarm and stop persecuting its visitors whilst correcting the litany of deficiencies in its signage and abandoning its quest to squeeze every last penny out of its residents and businesses.”

This is the latest in a long-running row over parking in the town.

In October, Yarm Town Council lost a Judicial Review against Stockton Borough Council. It had tried to prevent the authority from imposing pay and display parking, but a judge ruled Stockton had acted legally and Yarm was left with a £50,000 legal bill.

No-one could be contacted for comment at Stockton Borough Council.

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