Neil Herron


Neil Herron

Neil Herron’s an interesting man; he has a strong, perhaps over-developed sense of justice and goes in to bat against things that he thinks are wrong. He first came to public attention when he joined the fight to retain the right for people to measure things in pounds and ounces. The government decided to go metric and required that, things be measured in grams. Street markets are a feature of the UK and market traders sell by the pound. In an exercise in stupidity, the powers that be prosecuted the traders and Mr H stepped in to join the fight. I believe true to the best traditions of the British army he lost every battle but won the war when the government finally gave up.

Anyway he’s at it again over parking. He went to court to challenge the legality of tickets that he got for parking in a controlled zone. The issue is that the law defines a controlled zone as being parking places and waiting restrictions but Mr H said that since they also contain pedestrian crossings the law is breached and the zone order is invalid. Mr Justice Bean dismissed his case saying that it was “entirely based on technicality and utterly devoid of merit”.

Neil said that “The judgment has massive significance both for motorists and local authorities. It effectively means the authorities don’t have to comply fully with the law whilst ticketing motorists for the most minor contravention”. He has a point. What is law if not detail? Drive at 30 OK, drive at 31 and you’re speeding. Drivers who have killed people on a crossing have escaped punishment because the paint on the poles was too shiny. Many judgements have turned on such detail, why should parking be different?

Neil Herron thinks that the UK parking industry needs an independent regulator to keep councils honest; I agree. Until then he is determined to keep fighting the good fight. To many in municipal parking business he is a pain in the arse, long may he continue to be so. It’s easy to stop him, just do the job right.

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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