How long should it take to process a challenge to the issue of a Parking penalty charge?

The notice was issued on Friday, August 3, 2001, not long after the introduction of residents' visitor parking permits, on my brother's car two days after he arrived from the north of England.

The car was legally parked, displaying the permit in the prescribed position.

The challenge was handed in to the Parking Shop in North Road, Brighton, on Saturday, August 4, 2001.

Two demands for payment have been issued despite my correspondence, which has mainly been ignored.

Is almost eight months a record? The money received in parking fines must be seriously depleted if the authorities pursue every penalty notice as diligently as this one.

Ignoring my letters challenging this particular issue will not induce me to pay this demand for money.

This does not portray an efficient and cost-conscious council to the rest of the country and it must certainly deter visitors from returning to Brighton and Hove.

We treated it as a joke, then we were angry. Now we just wonder how much thought went into the implementation of this department and are back to treating it as a huge joke.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? How did you manage to resolve the matter?

-Christine M Holmes, Clarence Square, Brighton