HAVE you returned to your car recently to find a bright yellow parking ticket stuck to your windscreen?
Well, it might be worth checking out because parking officers wrongly fined dozens of motorists last year, the County Gazette can reveal.
Civil enforcement officers across Taunton Deane and West Somerset issued more than one ticket per week to drivers who has not fallen foul of the law.
Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show 107 tickets slapped on vehicles between June 11, 2012 and December 31, 2013 were successfully overturned on appeal.
The County Gazette has also learned that Somerset County Council raked in a whopping £434,128 in fines and is awaiting an answer on what was left minus staff costs and other overheads, plus what it has been invested in.
During the 18-month period 11,710 fines were handed out in Taunton Deane, with another 2,164 issued in West Somerset.
Out of these, 97 were issued in error in Taunton Deane, with another ten wrongly dished out in West Somerset.
The figures are for on-street parking breaches and illegal parking in county council-owned car parks, including at Shire Hall in Taunton and West Somerset Railway car park in Minehead.
Taunton Deane Council is responsible for other town centre car parks.
Gail Toop is one motorist who successfully appealed against a fine.
She said: “I was parked in a bus stop with a sign saying when you could and couldn’t park. The council said it didn’t apply to the bus stop but instead outside the stop, so I refused to pay because the sign was confusing.
“Surprisingly enough it still took them six weeks to get someone to come and remove it.”
A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “An error can occur for a number of reasons, ranging from the wrong details being recorded to a civil enforcement officer not noticing a permit or ticket on display.
"Despite this, the error rate is less than 1% – a very small number given the amount of tickets correctly issued.”