(268) YELLOW LINE ISSUES GROW
Following the decision that parking inside double yellow lines is not an offence under present law (see No 252), further issues about the subject have emerged. The Edinburgh Evening News reported on 6 October that Mr George Watson (45), a trainee solicitor in Prestonpans, planned to challenge the Scottish Parking Appeals Service under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (fair trial). The Service is funded by the four Scottish local authorities operating a system of parking regulation enforcement under which infringements are a civil offence enforced by parking attendants able to impose significant fines. Motorists may appeal to the Service. Mr Watson argues that the local authority funding means that the Service cannot be an independent and impartial tribunal; he also claims that the authorities have no right to trace vehicle ownership details through the Driver and Vehicles Licensing Authority as no criminal offence has been committed, and therefore Article 8 ECHR (right to privacy) is also infringed. The response of the local authorities is that since parking cases can finally be decided on appeal by a court, Article 6 is not infringed.
On 7 October 2003 it was further reported that there would be no prosecution of Mr David Ritchie, who had been charged with malicious mischief after he covered double yellow lines outside the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary at Little France, Edinburgh, with black paint, thus enabling him to park in the street where his girl-friend lived. Police and traffic attendants claimed that they could not issue parking tickets unless yellow lines were visible. Mr Ritchie said he was furious. I really wanted my day in court to prove I was in the right.” The yellow lines were put in at Little France at the request of residents