'I hadn’t done anything wrong’: Romford man wins five-month fight over parking fine

Michael McLean was backed by an independent adjudicator in his battle with Havering Council

Michael McLean was backed by an independent adjudicator in his battle with Havering Council over a parking fine he was issued in February - Credit: Michael McLean

A Romford man has been backed by an independent adjudicator in his five-month fight to get a parking fine overturned. 

Michael McLean, 71, was issued the penalty on February 13 after parking his car near his home in Parkside Avenue. 

The space was marked with faint lines, and so Mr McLean said he believed it to be legitimate.

However, after finding a parking ticket on his car later that day, he wrote to Havering Council for what he hoped would be an easily remedied case. 

The local authority then told Mr McLean the parking bay had been decommissioned, which could be viewed on Traffweb, a platform used to show the location of parking spaces around the borough. 

The council added that arrangements were being made to remove the remnant of the bay markings. 

Mr McLean has told this paper he has "never heard of Traffweb”, asking: “How would anyone know that?” 

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He then took his case to London Tribunals, which decided to allow the appeal at a hearing on June 29. 

In her decision, seen by the Recorder, adjudicator Belinda Pearce wrote local signage did not instruct motorists about the markings of the bays, “nor does it limit motorists to use only bays identifiable by a certain degree of demarcation”. 

She was “not satisfied that the contravention is proved, accordingly the appeal is allowed”. 

Mr McLean said the decision, which London Tribunals told this paper is binding, has made him feel vindicated, but added he is concerned others might have just paid the fine. 

“I felt strongly enough that I was in the right," he said. "I hadn’t done anything wrong.

“I wasn’t going to give up. I suspect most people would get the rejection letter and would say, ‘I tell you what, I’m getting nowhere here, I’ll pay the fine.’” 

He said he has since written back to the council, including a letter sent to council leader Cllr Ray Morgon, who provided “quite a nice response” and confirmed a review of the parking enforcement system is on the cards. 

Cllr Ray Morgon

Council leader, Cllr Ray Morgon - Credit: Havering Council

Havering Council was approached for comment.