Sunday May 21st 2023
Appeals against fines handed to drivers for parking in Edinburgh council-owned electric car charging bays for too long have had a near 50 per cent success rate.
Figures obtained by a freedom of information request found that 103 overstay tickets have been cancelled by the council since penalties were introduced a year ago, out of a total 226 appeals made.
Reasons given by electric vehicle owners for disputing charges included lack of signs in car parks alerting them of the rules.
Transport convener Scott Arthur said “larger and more clear tariff information stickers” have now been displayed at charge points to avoid confusion.
The maximum stay at council-owned EV bays is 12 hours for a ‘standard’ charging point (7kW), three hours for ‘fast’ (22kW) and one hour for ‘rapid’ (50kW). Overstay penalties have been scrapped at fast EV points between 11pm and 8am under new tarrifs introduced this month.
Anyone who parks at an EV power point beyond the permitted stay period is slapped with a £30 fine.
However it has emerged that almost half of drivers who have appealed the fine in the year since enforcement began have been successful.
It means the council has cancelled charges worth over £3,000.
The local authority said among the main reasons given for appealing overstay penalties was “missing or damaged signage on the charging units”.
Other issues raised included drivers “not being aware of the enforcement and tariff regime in place” and “overstay penalties being incorrectly applied”.
The number of tickets disputed represents a fraction of the total overstay fines however, with 5,396 issued.
Councillor Scott Arthur, transport and environment convener, said: “Since the new tariffs went live in May, we’ve introduced larger and more clear tariff information stickers.
“Our parking contractor NSL is also carrying out regular checks on all of the chargers and replacing any missing tariff information stickers.
“In addition, ChargePlace Scotland issued an update to their app towards the end of last year so that all tariff information, including details of maximum stay periods and that an overstay penalty will apply. All of our tariff information is also available on our website and ChargePlace Scotland’s website too.
“Our maximum stay periods are set to make sure as many people as possible can benefit from the city’s network of electric vehicle chargers.
“Charging periods for our rapid chargers were extended in May to better meet users’ needs. Indeed, overnight overstay penalties on our 22kW fast chargers will be removed completely. In addition to this, we are planning a significant expansion in the network to help ensure it better meets future demand.”Tweet Share on Facebook