Vehicle tow Legal blunder could unleash tidal wave of refund claims
An astonishing legal blunder exposed by the Mail will lead to motorists submitting an avalanche of refund claims, an expert predicted last night.
Powers used by police and councils to charge drivers for removing and impounding illegally parked vehicles were ‘inadvertently removed due to a drafting error’ in 1991 – and no one noticed until now.
Consumer law expert Scott Dixon said the error ‘will open the floodgates to a huge number of challenges, complaints and legal actions’.
One Mail reader has already revived a complaint in a bid to get his money back after his car was towed in 2012. Eric Bubb, 67, said he was charged £150 alongside ‘all kinds of other expenses’.
The astonishing mistake was only admitted by the Government as it published a new Bill to restore legal clauses accidentally erased by two earlier Acts of Parliament.
Powers used by police and councils to charge drivers for removing and impounding illegally parked vehicles were ‘inadvertently removed due to a drafting error’ in 1991 – and no one noticed until now (stock photo)
Mr Dixon, author of ‘How To Complain: The Consumer Guide to Resolve Complaints and Motoring Disputes’, said: ‘We haven’t seen anything like this since the scandal over payment protection insurance, better known as PPI.
‘What the Daily Mail has uncovered will leave motorists gobsmacked.
‘It will open the floodgates to a huge number of challenges, complaints and legal actions.
‘We are talking big sums here.’ He added: ‘Motorists have long been seen as a cash cow by councils everywhere to raise easy revenue.
‘It’s now time for motorists to fight back and hold councils and other bodies to account for their gross negligence and dereliction of duty.’
Mr Bubb, a chef from Spetisbury, Dorset, broke down in his Citroen C1 on the Dorchester bypass after working a late shift at the Olympic village in Portland during the London 2012 games.
‘A passing policeman helped me push it onto the verge and told me it would be alright there for 48 hours,’ said grandfather-of-two Mr Bubb, 67.
‘But when I went back with a mechanic the next morning the Highways Agency had towed it away.