Parking firm loses case over £160 fine due to lack of Welsh translation

A parking company, Simple Intelligent Parking Ltd, has lost a civil case against a motorist who requested a parking fine in Welsh. Elysteg Llwyd Thomas from Dyffryn Nantlle, Gwynedd, was initially issued a £60 fine in English. She responded that she would pay the fine once the company provided all correspondence bilingually, including a copy of the fine. The company ignored her request, and the penalty increased to £100, then to £160.

Thomas was represented in the civil case in Caernarfon by her father, Eifion Lloyd Jones, a member of the Welsh language campaign group Dyfodol i’r Iaith. Judge Merfyn Jones-Evans rejected the parking company’s application and issued a judicial warning that all signs in car parks in Wales should be bilingual. According to the Protection of Freedom Act 2012, notices in Welsh or English only were not deemed “sufficient notices” in Wales.

Eifion Lloyd Jones expressed hope that the judge’s warning would put an end to Welsh people being penalised for requesting correspondence in Welsh. However, he acknowledged that the “struggle will continue for a while yet.”

Dylan Rhys Jones, head of the School of Law at Wrexham’s Glyndwr University, stated that the case set “absolutely no precedent.” He added, “There can be another case heard next week and a decision to the contrary made.” Jones noted that if people continue to challenge fines issued in English only, companies may find it more cost-effective to provide documentation in Welsh rather than going to court.

Simple Intelligent Parking Ltd said it was disappointed with the decision and intended to appeal. The company is awaiting the written judgment to determine the appropriate steps to take. Welsh Language Commissioner Efa Gruffudd Jones mentioned that she was in direct contact with several parking companies, many of which have already adapted their machines, websites, and apps to include the Welsh language.

World News

Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

Related Articles