Camera error means Newham Council illegally issued parking tickets worth £350,000


- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

Drivers have been left out of pocket by Newham Council which admits it made £350,000 from parking tickets illegally issued by a dozen cameras, according to an internal report.

Only cameras that have been authorised by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) can be used by local councils to issue parking fines but 12 of them were operating without approval.

A report, obtained through a BBC investigation, shows that 6,840 tickets were issued unlawfully between 2011 and 2013.

The council commissioned the report in February from accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers which reads: “The parking contractor was instructed not to use these cameras to identify offences. However, 151 PCNs were issued.”

It also recommends the council issues clear orders to private contractors employed to enforce parking restrictions and monitors them closely.

The council says it has written off unpaid parking tickets totalling £347,376 but it will not refund drivers who have already paid up because previous court cases have proved they do not need to.

But Paul Pearson, of appeal’s website Penalty Charge Notice, has branded the council’s stance “disgraceful”.

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He told the BBC: “They should contact the motorists who’ve paid their fines, apologise and offer a refund.

“They expect us to abide by the rules, but when they’re caught they seem to be above the law.

“It’s disgraceful conduct.”

The BBC also claim some illegal tickets were issued before 2011 but the council hasn’t confirmed to it how many.

A Newham Council spokesperson said: “An internal review in June 2013 of 169 cameras operated by Newham Council found that 12 cameras used to issue parking tickets were not fully certified at that time.

“The Council has decided that all outstanding fines from tickets issued via these cameras will be cancelled. The cameras recorded vehicle use which was liable for enforcement.

“As other councils have established in law when involved in similar cases on a much larger scale, we will therefore not be allowing appeals on tickets paid in relation to these cameras.”

Have you had one of your tickets written off because it was issued by one of the unlawful cameras?

Contact the Newham Recorder newsdesk by calling 020 8478 4444 or email