A parking scheme in central Scarborough has been criticised by the local government ombudsman.
The ombudsman upheld the complaints.
Former policeman Keith Hughes had complained about where signs were displayed and the methods used by the council to collect fines.
Ombudsman Patricia Thomas agreed with him and said the problems were a result of "maladministration".
The council defended the scheme and said the complex government regulations were open to interpretation.
Scarborough Borough Council chief executive John Trebble said the requirements for parking controls were complicated and the authority had introduced its scheme using "common sense".
"Had the borough council applied these regulations to the letter, a forest of costly new signposts and acres of new road markings would have appeared outside people's homes," he said.
But Ms Thomas said although she sympathised with the difficulties the council faced interpreting the complex regulations, she maintained there was no excuse for it failing to conform.
She also criticised the council for pursuing unpaid tickets through a debt collection agency rather than through the magistrates court.
Mr Hughes had complained that parking signs and road markings were confusing.
He also alleged that the council had failed to use the correct procedures when pursuing the non-payment of fines.
The scheme covers around 400 streets in the town and an estimated 18,000 tickets have been issued every year since it was introduced in June 2000.