Sunderland parking-ticket campaigner may take his fight to the High Court

Motorist rights campaigner Neil Herron.
Motorist rights campaigner Neil Herron.
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CAMPAIGNER Neil Herron has been told he may have to take his latest battle against traffic laws to the High Court.

 The former market trader lost a high-profile test case last year over a claim the city centre parking zone in Sunderland is unlawful.

 The 47-year-old is now involved in a new battle after he was convicted by magistrates of violating road laws banning cars from driving over the High Level Bridge in Newcastle.

 Mr Herron, from Barnes, Sunderland, was at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday where he was representing himself at an appeal hearing in a bid to overturn the conviction.

He claims the city’s magistrates convicted him in his absence of an offence under the Road Traffic Act after some confusion over the date he was due to appear.

The evidence against him was in the form of a photograph showing his car on the bridge.

Mr Herron admits he was on the bridge, but claims the evidence against him is flawed because he has not been told, despite repeated requests, who took the photograph and how exactly it ended up in the hands of the police.

He also claims signs in the area are inadequate and the fact that more than 5,000 drivers have been convicted of the same offence since 2008 backs up his case.

Mr Herron said in court: “I have the right to challenge my accuser. I have a right to challenge the evidence and a right to put the police to proof.”

But Mr Recorder Andrew Kershaw said Mr Herron may have to take his case to the High Court.

The judge said: “If your complaint relates to the system of prosecution which led to your being convicted it is usually dealt with by the divisional court of the High Court. “

Mr Herron argued: “I am being denied justice because of the costs of taking the matter to the High Court.”

But recorder Kershaw adjourned the case for 28 days and urged Mr Herron to take legal advice.