Thousands of drivers ticketed with an invalid Angus parking charge have reached the end of the road in a bid to have their fine paid back.
A badly worded Penalty Charge Notice triggered the prospect of thousands of appeals against tickets which banked £500,000 for the local authority.
Following a ruling last year in which a watchdog branded the tickets invalid, council chiefs say they have no intention of refunding motorists who have already paid.
One community leader has branded the authority’s response “arrogant” after it received a string of complaints over the handling of the issue.
Motorists had been fined for a range of parking misdemeanours but the challenge was mounted on the basis of legislation which states a parking ticket must contain a postal address to which payment of the fine can be sent.
The Angus tickets contained a website address and phone number but the postal address referred only to appeals.
In November, a damning 12-page finding by government watchdog the Parking and Bus Lane Tribunal for Scotland upheld the decision over the flaw in the wording of the ticket, rendering it invalid.
Despite the finding against the authority, no drivers have received a refund and the council has now said it is “satisfied” drivers who have already paid their fine have no right to appeal.
A council spokesman said: “We undertook a review of the decision of the Parking and Bus Lane Tribunal in regard to the inclusion of a postal address on the Penalty Charge Notice.
“We also reviewed the position of the Parking and Bus Lane Tribunal in dealing with appeals after a Penalty Charge Notice has been paid.
“We are satisfied that there is no right of appeal to the Parking and Bus Lane Tribunal after a Penalty Charge Notice has been paid. On that basis no refunds have been issued.”
It is thought the only remaining avenue of legal challenge would be a class action but the prospects of that happening appear slim.
Brechin Community Council chairwoman Jill Scott said: “I have taken a long time to get an answer to this because people didn’t know what was happening with it and I think the response the council has now put out is incredibly arrogant.
“The pandemic has taken over and it seems that the council has thought that if they just stay quiet then they’re going to get away with it.
“The council are very quick to chase if they due the money, but it hasn’t worked the other way when the decision was clear that the tickets were invalid.”