26th Jun, 2022

Unlawful Coventry council van and taxi parking prompts 'special favours' claim

Editorial Correspondent 17th May, 2018 Updated: 17th May, 2018

COUNCIL vans and council-licensed taxis have been breaking Coventry council’s own controversial rules on parking in the city centre – prompting accusations of ‘special favours’.

The pictures show two vans used by council ICT staff were parked near the cathedral – despite their special permits being out of date.

And another photograph shows a black cab parked on the pavement near the Britannia Hotel, even though it was registered as off-road (SORN) with the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Lincensing Agency).

The pictures have been posted by road safety campaigner Richard Heneghan on his CovRoadSafety @KovBlog twitter account.

It comes a week after an adjudicator for the national Traffic Penalty Tribunal published a scathing report into Coventry city centre’s Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ), in place since 2012.

The adjudicator, Caroline Shephard OBE, ruled a lack of signage left the motorist unfairly confused and misinformed about the rules, which state there is no parking inside the ring-road except in designated parking bays.

The report also accused the council of being “deluded” about the scheme’s inadequacies, after 60,000 parking fines raked in millions of pounds for council coffers.

Mr Heneghan now says council vehicles have been given “special favours”.

He claimed council traffic wardens were ignoring and not checking illegally parked council vehicles.

He added that a member of the public had to point out to a traffic warden that the special permit for the two ICT vans had expired.

Only after his intervention were the two vehicles issued with a parking ticket.

He tweeted: “Coventry City Council has been using restricted parking areas to dump their vehicles, even over weekends.

“These vehicles get special permits so they don’t receive PCNs (Penalty Charge Notices). Thing is – they ran out a week ago so are parked unlawfully. What if that was a member of the public?”

He told us: “If that was a member of the public, they would have got a ticket every day. Over a week, that would be fines of up to £420 for each vehicle.

“The special permits are supposed to be for use only in the course of council business, yet these permits are being used overnight, and at bank holidays.”

Of illegally parked black cabs, he tweeted: “There are too many blacks cabs with nowhere for them to sit.

“Bin men etc are going mad saying they can’t do their job with the cabs stuck in the way all over city centre RPZ!

“Not blaming the drivers but it hardly reconciles with the common interpretation of ‘gold standard’ (of black cabs) when parking on footpaths with no tax!”

Conservative opposition councillor Tim Mayer tweeted: “So the council can’t help residents or their own employees to understand the unenforceable scheme. What is going on? Permits out of date, this is not good enough.”

A council spokesperson said the problem with the two ICT vehicles had been an “oversight” which had now been rectified with new permits.

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