My five-year legal battle over a £1 . parking fine
- Linda Edwards, 58, met her mother for dinner in Manchester in 2016
- She reported that a payment and display meter was not operational for Excel Parking
- She was fined £100 for not paying money in the broken machine
A motorist who has been taken to court and threatened with a £250 fine for an unpaid £1 parking ticket has won a five-year ‘David versus Goliath’ battle to undo it.
Artist Linda Edwards, 58, was meeting her mother for dinner in Manchester in May 2016 when she discovered the payment terminal in the car park was faulty.
She reported the outage to operators Excel Parking Services and was reassured that someone would be there to fix it. But Mrs Edwards was shocked when she returned to find an inspector handing out a £100 parking ticket for her Range Rover.
Linda Edwards, 58, has won a five-year battle against a parking company over an unjustified fine
Ms Edwards, pictured, reported a malfunctioning parking meter in Manchester in 2016
She appealed and sent a check for £1 to cover her two hours of parking, but it was turned down. Ms Edwards, who refused to pay the fine, subsequently received several letters informing her that the fine had been increased to £250. In November 2017, she was told it was being turned over to a collection agency.
Determined not to be bullied, she began to keep all correspondence and began to study the law so that she could represent herself in court.
Earlier this year, she was told she could settle the dispute for £272, but she fought on.
Last month, her perseverance was rewarded after a Manchester County Court judge dismissed the fine.
Mrs Edwards of Saddleworth, near Oldham, said: ‘As the hearing date approached, I had sleepless nights. Sometimes I was moved to tears because they wouldn’t give up. But I don’t like to be abused. I kept reminding myself that justice must be done. I wouldn’t be bullied.
“Nobody likes to get a parking ticket, but that wasn’t even right.”
Ms Edwards, who is married to Jonathan, 56, added: ‘My husband is a lawyer, but this is not his area of expertise. I did all the work myself. I bought a large folder and kept all the documents and correspondence. I didn’t want to hire anyone, because that would have made a ridiculous amount of money.
“I hope that this will give others the courage to stand up to these companies. It’s just money laundering the way they can exploit people with the threat of collection agencies and the court.’
A spokesperson for Excel Parking Services, which managed the Bury New Road car park, claimed: ‘There had been a clear violation of the parking conditions as no payment and display ticket had been purchased.
“But . . . the judge decided that Mrs. Edwards’s call to our helpline was an intention to pay once the machine was repaired.”