By Rachel Clare
ALMOST 500 motorists got off their parking fine because traffic wardens filled in the ticket incorrectly.
The errors, which include noting down the wrong location, vehicle details or time, cost the Bristol City Council more than £17,000.
The data – obtained by the Evening Post under the Freedom of Information Act – showed that the council lost out on a total of £17,880 after 480 tickets were voided or cancelled from January 2010 to January 2011.
But the figures also show that the authority makes more than £2 million from parking fines every year, usually issuing around 6,000 tickets a month.
A Bristol City Council spokesman said: “While it is the goal of the city council to keep any mistakes made when issuing parking enforcement notices to an absolute minimum, they do occur.
“All errors are logged, are signed off by a shift supervisor and are subject to audit.
“They may also be used for training purposes in a bid to eliminate future mistakes. However, the number of notices voided or cancelled due to officers incorrectly filling in the charge notices needs to set in the context of the total number of notices issued, which last year totalled 65,000.
“In most cases the ticket is voided or cancelled before it is issued to the vehicle, but after the handheld computer has allocated the notice number from our system.
“The reasons for voiding or canceling the ticket can include errors made during the collecting of the information required to issue the parking ticket.
“Some of the these include location, vehicle details – including make, colour and vehicle registration -timings, or the driver may even return and drive the vehicle away.
Money collected by the council for parking fines is ring-fenced under Section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
The council spokesman continued: “If the revenue raised through the issuing of enforcement notices exceeds expenditure on parking services in any one year then the surplus is used in line with the requirements of Section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
“Details of how any money is used is set out in Bristol City Council Statement of Accounts which are published each year and which can be found on the council website at www.bristol.gov.uk.
“This could include traffic management expenditure, such as school crossing patrols, road safety, traffic surveys and traffic lights and concessionary fares.”