Derby

Snow-covered car permit fine cancelled by Derby council

Oliver Claxton's car covered in snow with a parking ticket Image copyright Derby City Council
Image caption Oliver Claxton said he had never moved the permit from his car, so challenged the fine from Derby City Council

A driver who got a parking fine because his permit was hidden by snow on the windscreen has had the penalty cancelled.

Oliver Claxton, of Derby, returned home after working away in London for a few months to find a penalty notice.

He said his permit was always on display, in Chester Green, so he decided to dispute it.

Derby City Council has cancelled the £70 fine and accepted that snow and ice can obscure a permit's visibility.

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Image copyright Derby City Council
Image caption Derby City Council said officers were advised not to touch vehicles to avoid possible complaints that they have caused damage

Mr Claxton, who works at the BBC, said: "Common sense has prevailed and the challenge has been upheld - I don't have to pay £70, which is good news."

He said a letter from the council explained it was an administrative error, because the official checked Mr Claxton's number plate on a handheld device and it showed no permit was assigned to the car.

However, it later emerged the number plate had been recorded incorrectly, with the last digit stated as a zero not the letter "O".

'Just a mistake'

The letter stated: "I have asked the manager in charge of the admin staff who process the permits to remind them that British vehicle registration numbers do not end in a number but a letter, to avoid this happening again."

Mr Claxton said: "It is just a mistake isn't it?"

Derby City Council said: "Drivers are responsible for ensuring that permits are clearly displayed, but clearly snow and ice can temporarily obscure the visibility of a permit.

"Officers are advised not to touch vehicles to avoid possible complaints that they have caused any damage."

The council said it did not comment on individual cases, but all representations were duly considered and common sense applied.

Derby City Council's policy

In permit areas, if a permit is not visible the civil enforcement officers (CEOs) will check the registration against the database on their handheld devices.

In non permit areas, if the CEOs are unable to see if a vehicle has displayed a valid pay and display ticket, even from a side window, because they do not remove any snow or debris, they cannot issue a penalty charge notice.

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