Anger as hardline councils throw out more parking ticket appeals


SCOTTISH councils are cracking down hard on motorists who try to appeal parking tickets.

The percentage of successful appeals has dropped sharply over the past three years – with one local authority throwing out 95% of claims.

Despite growing concern that cash-strapped councils are using parking tickets to raise money, the appeal success rate is plummeting.

Motoring authorities have called for more transparency in the appeal process and dubbed success rates a “postcode lottery”.

Massive variations in the number of successful appeals around Scotland have also been revealed by the Freedom of Information request.

The percentage of successful appeals has dropped sharply over the past three years
The percentage of successful appeals has dropped sharply over the past three years


Argyll and Bute allows 68% of appeals while Dundee permits only 5%.

Glasgow motorists emerge as the most feisty, appealing around one in six tickets.

Dundonian drivers seem to be the most apathetic, appealing only 0.3 % of all the tickets handed out last year.

All councils were asked under the Freedom of Information Act to release details of parking tickets, appeals and the success rate of those appeals.

When compared with statistics in 2011, the information revealed that councils are taking a stronger stance against motorists who question the £60 fine.

In Glasgow in 2011, if you contested your ticket you had a 24% chance of it being ripped up and your fine cancelled. Just three years later, the success rate had dropped to 13.9%.

Similarly, in Argyll and Bute the appeal success rate has dropped from a sky-high 82% in 2011 to 68% in 2014.

Astonishingly, those who live in Dundee are now six times less likely to have their appeal upheld. The rate has dropped from 31% to 5% over three years.

Major discrepancies in the appeal success rate are rife across the country.

People living in Orkney are over five times more likely to have their ticket cancelled – 54% – than those who reside in South Ayrshire – 7%.

Similarly, the percentage of successful appeals last year in Edinburgh stands at 47%, compared with just 9% in Aberdeen.

The information request also included some of the reasons why tickets had been cancelled.

Some of the most common included parking officials not filling out the ticket correctly, faulty ticket machines, unclear road markings and emergency situations.

One driver in Aberdeen had their ticket cancelled because they had been arrested, and one person was even let off because they “needed the loo”.

Paul Watters, head of Roads Policy for the Automobiles Association, said: “We all know success rates are a postcode lottery.

“We need more transparency with the appeals service, and we need an independent body who will be able to scrutinise parking tickets and appeals.

“Councils should be accountable to the electorate. I’d like to see the huge difference in appeal success rates reduced.”

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Questions will be asked about why there are such drastic discrepancies between Councils.

“Parking charges should only be in place where they’re necessary for traffic management and safety. Motorists are already hit hard by too-high fuel and road tax, so these charges on top must be minimised.”