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NO PCN affixed, received NTO, rejected representation
Hypaspist
post Thu, 28 Mar 2019 - 20:31
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Hello to everyone,

I would like to have your opinion on whether I should appeal to the independent adjudicator or not.

One day I received an NTO (attached) in mail out of the blue. It was about my failure to pay the PCN that was issued 1 month ago for parking in a marked bay area on a street in Bristol without paying and displaying a ticket. I indeed had parked there, after 21:00 but was under the impression that parking was free after 18:00. Regardless, my first surprise was the fact that there was no PCN affixed to my car at the time, which explains why I haven't attempted to pay it.

Now the NTO says that because I haven't paid in the first 14 days, the penalty is £50. Naturally, I appealed formally. In my appeal I stated that:
  1. The photo presented by the parking warden shows a blurry and distorted image of the front windscreen with a piece of paper under the right wiper. I assume this piece of paper to be the PCN, but regardless of this, nothing was attached on the windscreen as expected when I entered the vehicle.
  2. Anyone could have taken the piece of paper, it could have been blown away by the strong wind of that night or simply be a fake as the picture shown as evidence doesn't prove that it was a legit PCN
  3. The parking sign is not clearly visible. There is a parking sign that promts to check the ticket machine further than 10m away, deep within evergreen hedge that is private property.
  4. No other cars where parked next to mine or behind mine, all parking places where empty, includingthe side of the road with single yellow line behind my car. I could have parked there.


Explanation why I appealed to these points:
Point 1) The picture is so blurry that I dont even know if it is a legit PCN or not. If it wasn't, that would explain why the traffic warden didn't want to leave it and never actually did
Point 2) The picture shows this piece of paper left under my wiper. Not stuck on the windscreen as usual for Bristol but just left there. Either someone took it just for fun or actually it is their policy to never leave it in order for citizens to have to pay the increased penalty and therefore make more money.
Point 3) They follow up in the notice of rejection by saying that the signage of entering a CPZ was 5m away. No it is not. It is more like 10m away, 5 car widths, right next to hedges which have overgrown their space and therefore hiding it. There is a HUGE sign about new road layout in the middle of the pavement yet they opted to put the more important parking sign at the edge of the parking area, next to an evergreen hedge.
Point 4) I must be really stupid to park in a park and display zone illegally since I was the only car around and there are single yellow lines 10m away where I could have parked legally and free. This argues that their sign is not visible on a poorly lit street in the middle of the night!

I have received their rejection and a few points seem a bit over the line.
  1. They mention it is my responsibility to locate the signage. How? Take a pair of clippers and clip the hell out of someone's hedge? Following the NTO, I made a formal complain to the council to do something about the issue. They replied that it is a matter for the parking services. I replied that it is NOT, it is a matter of the quality and state of the road, to which they replied that " it is up to the landlord to maintain their vegetation. Notwithstanding, we have forwarded your service request to the neighbourhood enforcement team. They may contact you in due course." I never head back from that.
  2. Following my comments, they now allow me to pay the reduced rate, whereas previously they demanded the full rate. HOWEVER, if I dare apply to the adjudicator, my case will be examined with the full penalty! I consider this to be somewhat blackmailing.
  3. They mention that the "charging hours are displayed on road signs located on all entry points to the CPZ. The sign was approximately 5 m the rear of where the vehicle was parked" Firstly, there are no signs in the entry points to the CPZ. The only sign 5m away from where I parked says "Pay at machine", no hours. And what does the "rear of the vehicle" mean? There are no signs behind or infront of the parking area!



I am attaching all the pictures I can. I apologise for the lack of information but Im trying to be as discreet as possible.
I would like to know your opinion on pushing further with this and where should I focus my attention to. Do I have a case or do I count my loses and succumb to the reduced penalty?

Thank you in advance














This post has been edited by Hypaspist: Thu, 28 Mar 2019 - 20:34
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post Thu, 28 Mar 2019 - 20:31
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PASTMYBEST
post Wed, 17 Apr 2019 - 21:01
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Just register it online in time weekend dont matter


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cp8759
post Fri, 19 Apr 2019 - 21:26
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QUOTE (Hypaspist @ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 - 15:43) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sun, 7 Apr 2019 - 17:08) *
QUOTE (Hypaspist @ Sat, 6 Apr 2019 - 21:12) *
1) Yes it is 25/3. I thought it would register better with the adjudicator if I were to send my case within the "grace" period

There is literally no advantage at all in registering your appeal early.


Given that the deadline is this Saturday and with Easter holidays coming, would I have to appeal tomorrow? Or it doesn't have to be on a workday?

It doesn't matter what day it is, you can register instantly online, just make sure not to miss the deadline.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Hypaspist
post Fri, 19 Apr 2019 - 21:48
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Ok thanks

Unless there's any further input, I plan to do so tomorrow
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John U.K.
post Sat, 20 Apr 2019 - 11:22
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QUOTE (Hypaspist @ Fri, 19 Apr 2019 - 21:48) *
Ok thanks

Unless there's any further input, I plan to do so tomorrow


You can always register the appeal, and in the appriopriate box write something like "Full submission to follow"
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Hypaspist
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 09:08
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QUOTE (John U.K. @ Sat, 20 Apr 2019 - 12:22) *
QUOTE (Hypaspist @ Fri, 19 Apr 2019 - 21:48) *
Ok thanks

Unless there's any further input, I plan to do so tomorrow


You can always register the appeal, and in the appriopriate box write something like "Full submission to follow"


Right

So, evidence uploaded, appeal registered, the council came back with their evidence.

Their evidence consists of the photos of the CEO already uploaded, the NTO, letter of rejection already uploaded
but also a copy of the PCN and the CEO comments and I guess their legislation about the area. No other photos.

I have 7 days to put my comments. I can either have it sent directly to the adjudicator or arrange for a call. Is there any benefit to having a call hearing and would I need one? I don't mind either way really but I don't know what is generally expected.
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Hypaspist
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 09:18
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What is interesting is that

a) The CEO got the distances wrong. The sign is not 5m away (it is 10m away) and the pay machine certainly is not 25m away, its 50m away. Both measured on google maps. Is there any legislation as to how far apart should the signs be?
b) The CEO got the car colour wrong. DVLA lists it as Red. The CEO has it as as Burgundy. The factory's official colour is metallic red.
c) The CEO marked the ticket location as "Attached to windscreen". I am not really clear as to what meaning the CEO gives to "attached", but nothing is going to be attached to the windscreen by simply using the wiper. Placed maybe, attached or affixed certainly not.

d) I am not going to pursue the naming issue anymore as clearly the DVLA is to blame for this.

No further evidence has been uploaded regarding the sign maintenance. It just feels that the council and the CEO has been doing all these small mistakes here and there.

Edit: regarding the entry sign to the CPZ, I noticed that in Google, under every sign there are hours noted. However, ever since they changed the charging hours of the CPZ last September I think and introduced charging hours for which I got the PCN, they removed the hours under the entry signs. This doesn't really indicate as to which hours the council is referring to as there are no hours indicated under the parking restriction signs, they are only indicated in the machine. Only the yellow line signs mention hours.

This post has been edited by Hypaspist: Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 09:46
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hcandersen
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 09:50
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OP, you are at the point which most OPs forget - the evidence.

Forget everything which has gone before, the evidence upon which the adj will make a decision is what's in front of them in the council's pack and your written submissions.

So - pain in the neck that it might be - we need to see their summary, their photos and the extract from the traffic management order which creates the restriction in the first place.

If you have elected for a tel. hearing, then you may amend this to a personal hearing but it might take some time to arrange, so you could be looking at a couple of months hence.
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Hypaspist
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 10:06
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 10:50) *
OP, you are at the point which most OPs forget - the evidence.

Forget everything which has gone before, the evidence upon which the adj will make a decision is what's in front of them in the council's pack and your written submissions.

So - pain in the neck that it might be - we need to see their summary, their photos and the extract from the traffic management order which creates the restriction in the first place.

If you have elected for a tel. hearing, then you may amend this to a personal hearing but it might take some time to arrange, so you could be looking at a couple of months hence.


But I have uploaded the evidence, at least the photographic ones. Its in my previous post. The photos they have uploaded are the exact same ones they provided as evidence for my PCN. Should I re-upload them?
Here is the legislation they've uploaded
legislation1
legislation2

My comments are basically the comments I generated when I first viewed the new evidence they uploaded and the ones I think I should attach to the case as prompted.


And to answer my previous question regarding signage distance (and for the benefit of others) I found this wiki
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Traffic_Sign...hapter_3/2008/7
Under 7.50 it says:
QUOTE
Signs should be provided at approximately 30 m intervals ..... Where the length of the bay is less than 30 m, a sign mounted at the mid—point should therefore be sufficient


Well, the parking bay is 37m wide. The sign is placed close to one end of it. I take it that the council failed to follow proper signage regulations? There is no sign at the other end of the bay.

This post has been edited by Hypaspist: Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 10:18
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hcandersen
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 10:18
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Do not require us to infer that what you might have posted earlier is the exact same as presented to the adj, this is an impossible task to impose on us.

Sometimes even the PCNs submitted are in a different format.

Front of PCN;
The NOR in the pack;
Their pack photos.
Case summary;
Extract from order. (I cannot open your link, but perhaps this is at my end)


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Hypaspist
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 10:24
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 11:18) *
Do not require us to infer that what you might have posted earlier is the exact same as presented to the adj, this is an impossible task to impose on us.

Sometimes even the PCNs submitted are in a different format.

Front of PCN;
The NOR in the pack;
Their pack photos.
Case summary;
Extract from order. (I cannot open your link, but perhaps this is at my end)


Ok I will make another post with everything uploaded by them, for the convenience of anyone willing to assist. Is there an easy way to do this?
For example the links I provided are pdfs. How should I present these?
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PASTMYBEST
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 13:44
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I use onedrive it seems to work fine


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cp8759
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 16:46
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Google drive works well for me.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Hypaspist
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 17:30
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I apologise for the delay.
Here is a link on dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/sh/q4pb060hal57f57/...VRxjMgq0Ua?dl=0 where I have put all the evidence that the city council has uploaded.

Furthermore, if I download the evidence as a zip from the tribunal site, there is a pdf called "evidence summary", in which there is a section:

QUOTE
Authority Summary
The Council would like to add that (me) has pointed
out in his appeal that there are signs and lives in the area so should
be aware that parking charges apply. Furthermore, please see the
Notice of Rejection.


So my comments on the council's summary and evidence are:

a) The CEO got the distances wrong. The sign is not 5m away (it is 10m away) and the pay machine certainly is not 25m away, its 50m away. Both measured on google maps.
b) The CEO got the car colour wrong. DVLA lists it as Red. The CEO has it as as Burgundy. The factory's official colour is metallic red.
c) The CEO marked the ticket location as "Attached to windscreen". I am not really clear as to what meaning the CEO gives to "attached", but nothing is going to be attached to the windscreen by simply using the wiper. Placed maybe, attached or affixed certainly not.
d) The council is incorrect about my appeal. Of course there is *A* sign which is hidden in the hedge and this is why all the fight is about, the sign is there but I didn't know about it because it is hidden. However, I never said I live in the area in my appeal. The place where I live is 15 mins on foot and it is actually outside of the CPZ. I don't know what the council means by "living in the area". Even in my case to the adjudicator I wrote that since the incident of receiving the NTO, I have passed by the area on foot to monitor the situation, which as far as I know does not imply that I live or am familiar with the area.

This post has been edited by Hypaspist: Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 17:33
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PASTMYBEST
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 17:50
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There is an address they sent the NTO and NOR to, is that in the area?


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cp8759
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 20:08
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The colour of the car is largely irrelevant as you accept it's your car. There's nothing in the attached / affixed argument, if they placed the PCN on the windscreen the tribunal will accept its been served.

Has the council not provide a case summary?


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Hypaspist
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 20:38
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 18:50) *
There is an address they sent the NTO and NOR to, is that in the area?

The address they served the NTO and NOR to is outside the CPZ zone, 700m on a straight line, 965m on foot (google says 11min but due to works around the area plus height difference its more like 15min) or 1127m by car. It is not on my way to work (I commute off city), neither it is close to a supermarket I might shop in, gym I might work at, a church Im a member of etc. I haven't even seen any notifications they might put on display when they change the charging hours or neither have I received any mail about it. Plus, I have a private parking space, so I don't even have to ask for a parking permit from the council in case they send out any information about the CPZ and its changes. All in all, I don't think its a valid argument. I know there are parking signs in the CPZs of the UK in general, I know that there are parking signs outside my house that say "parking permit holders only" and the hours underneath, even though I don't use them. But to know about a specific sign of a road that is not in my neighbourhood is a bit much to ask, especially in an area that undergoes modification.

QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 21:08) *
The colour of the car is largely irrelevant as you accept it's your car. There's nothing in the attached / affixed argument, if they placed the PCN on the windscreen the tribunal will accept its been served.

Has the council not provide a case summary?

So its not a matter of pointing out the council's discrepancies but rather points to fight on?
For the attached/affixed argument, I do not claim to be a dictionary expert so if they don't really take it literally then I guess it doesn't make sense as an argument. It does however cover the case of someone or somehow removing the PCN which they already accepted since they offered the 50% reduction.

The case summary is the one I quoted:
QUOTE
The Council would like to add that (me) has pointed out in his appeal that there are signs and lives in the area so should be aware that parking charges apply. Furthermore, please see the Notice of Rejection.

Nothing more.

This post has been edited by Hypaspist: Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 20:47
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cp8759
post Sat, 27 Apr 2019 - 13:53
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Here are your grounds of appeal: http://bit.ly/2ZFMLsg

You will need to download the document to your computer, replace the bits in red with your real name and the real tribunal case number, change all the text to black, then save as a PDF and upload to the tribunal website. If you have any problems doing this, you can PM me the details and I'll make a PDF file for you.

Also upload the following PDFs to the tribunal website:

Ammar Abdul Hadi v Coventry City Council (case reference CV00067-1902): http://bit.ly/2UqVTSF
Anthony Hall v Kent County Council (with Tunbridge Wells BC) (case reference JU-00042-1810): http://bit.ly/2DmNq7N
Mrs H v Worthing Borough Council (case reference UW 05060M): http://bit.ly/2RNEZaD
London cases annex: http://bit.ly/2H0ACar
Ofcom call cost guide: http://bit.ly/2GOI6gk
London Borough of Camden v The Parking Adjudicator & Ors [2011] EWHC 295 (Admin): http://bit.ly/2Sw3NJv
Behary, R (On Application) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 3575 (Admin): http://bit.ly/2Vt23yf


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Hypaspist
post Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 21:11
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 27 Apr 2019 - 14:53) *
Here are your grounds of appeal: http://bit.ly/2ZFMLsg

You will need to download the document to your computer, replace the bits in red with your real name and the real tribunal case number, change all the text to black, then save as a PDF and upload to the tribunal website. If you have any problems doing this, you can PM me the details and I'll make a PDF file for you.

Also upload the following PDFs to the tribunal website:

Ammar Abdul Hadi v Coventry City Council (case reference CV00067-1902): http://bit.ly/2UqVTSF
Anthony Hall v Kent County Council (with Tunbridge Wells BC) (case reference JU-00042-1810): http://bit.ly/2DmNq7N
Mrs H v Worthing Borough Council (case reference UW 05060M): http://bit.ly/2RNEZaD
London cases annex: http://bit.ly/2H0ACar
Ofcom call cost guide: http://bit.ly/2GOI6gk
London Borough of Camden v The Parking Adjudicator & Ors [2011] EWHC 295 (Admin): http://bit.ly/2Sw3NJv
Behary, R (On Application) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 3575 (Admin): http://bit.ly/2Vt23yf


Thanks cp8759! Much appreciated
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Hypaspist
post Fri, 24 May 2019 - 16:25
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Hello all,

Thanks to the support of this community, the appeal has been allowed.
This is the decision:

QUOTE
1. I have had the opportunity of considering all the evidence that has been presented in this matter including the written representations made.
2. (The appellant) appeals to the Tribunal on a number of grounds. Firstly he states that he did not receive the penalty charge notice. Secondly he argues that the signage at the location is deficient in that the single sign that denotes the requirement to pay at the pay and display machine is obscured by foliage from an adjacent bush. He therefore argues that the penalty charge notice cannot be enforced due to the inadequacy of the signage.
3. Thirdly he states that the notice of rejection of representations made reference to a controlled parking zone at this location. It is (The appellant's) contention that the controlled parking zone relates to the single yellow lines which can be seen within the vicinity and not to the area within which he was parked. Fourthly, he argues that the notice to owner and the notice of rejection of representations are not substantially compliant with the relevant regulations in that they indicate that if payment is not received within 28 days of the service of the notice of rejection then a charge certificate will be served. It is ((The appellant's) ) contention that the mandatory nature of this statement does not comply with the discretionary power contained within the Regulations.
4. Fifthly, (The appellant) states that a procedural impropriety has occurred in that the notice of rejection of representations which he received was missing page 3 of four. Finally, (The appellant) argues that the provision of an 0870 payment line for payment to the Council involves an unlawful surcharge of 2p a minute. The surcharge would result in an amount over the value of the penalty charge notice been paid by him to the Council. (The appellant) argues therefore that the amount pursued by the Council exceeds the amount of the relevant penalty charge.
5. A parking restriction is created by a Traffic Regulation Order which is a piece of legislation passed by local Councils in order to regulate parking within their jurisdiction. A CEO will issue a PCN where they believe that a contravention of the TRO has occurred. Of course, the motorist who intends to park in a certain location will not have a copy of the TRO to hand when they are considering parking. Therefore, there is a duty upon Councils to erect and maintain adequate signage within an area to convey the restriction contained within the TRO.
6. The signage must convey adequate information of the restriction in place. A PCN is issued not for failing to comply with the signage at a location, rather for being in breach of the TRO. It follows that if signs do not convey the information within the TRO adequately then no contravention occurs as the motorist is not aware of the restriction in place. The burden is on the Council in appeals to show that the signage is correct.
7. Regulation 18 of the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 (LATOR) provides:
“Traffic Signs
18(1) Where an order relating to any road has been made the order making authority shall take such steps as are necessary to secure:
(a) before the order comes into force the placing on or near the road of such traffic signs in such positions as the order making authority may consider requisite for securing that adequate information as to the effect of the order is made available to persons using the road;
(b) the maintenance of such signs for so long as the order remains in force; and
©...
8. The obligation on the relevant authority is to provide signing that is reasonably clear and reflects the terms of the relevant Traffic Order. If the signing is not sufficiently clear either in terms of the information given on a sign or its visibility having regard to the particular location the relevant provision of the Traffic Order should not be enforced and is a basis for a finding that the parking contravention did not occur.
9. Mr Justice Beatson considered the question of adequate compliance further in the case of R (Oxfordshire CC) v Bus Lane Adjudicator [2010] EWHC 894 (Admin). As the title suggests this was a case in relation to the signing of bus lanes and whilst it was decided very much on its own facts and the particular Traffic Order the judgment includes the following:
“68. The introduction to Chapter 3 (of the Traffic Signs Manual) states that “should” indicates a course of action that is “strongly recommended and represents good practice”. ...... In such circumstances wherever signs have not been placed in positions where they cannot be seen or easily seen, are not obscured by vegetation or other street furniture and are clearly visible and comply with departmental guidance there must be strong reasons given for concluding that they do not provide adequate information ......”
10. (The appellant) raised the issue of signage at this location at the outset of his dealings with this penalty charge notice. He has been clear and consistent in indicating that one of the main areas of contention in relation to this PCN was the question of the adequacy and sufficiency of the signage at the location.
11. I have considered the evidence that the Council have provided in relation to the. I find that it is of a poor quality. The photographs taken by the Civil Enforcement Officer at the time of the purported contravention are found at item 28 in the FOAM online system. These photographs are blurred, shaky and do not provide an accurate representation of the location nor the vehicle in context on this occasion.
12. The Council’s argument is that Redcliffe Street is within a controlled parking zone which is created by the uploaded Traffic Regulation Order. The TRO in this case appears to create a zone within which bays are laid out for pay-and-display parking. If the intention is to create a zone purposely for the use of pay-and-display bays the times of operation of such bays should be indicated by zone entry sings at all entrances into the zone.
13. The CEO did not take any photographs of the relevant entry signs into the controlled parking zone. There are no library photographs provided to illustrate the zone entry signs. There is no plan or map of the zone presented with the location of each zone entry and exit sign marked upon it. No diagrams are provided illustrating the type of signs that have been erected at the entrance to the zone. Bearing in mind the nature of (The appellant's) challenge, namely the adequacy of the signage, the evidence provided by the Council is wholly inadequate in this regard.
14. The best evidence of the condition of the signage at the location is provided by (The appellant) himself. He submitted a number of photographs along with a number of documents. In particular the photographs at item 17 and 18 of the evidence section, although taken in March 2019, show the view that a motorist would have from the bay when looking to their right down the street towards where the sign to pay at machine is located. The sign itself cannot be seen. If one was aware that a sign was present at that location, the only part of the sign can be seen is the lower section of the metal grey pole that is viewable underneath the bottom of the box hedge.
15. The evidence from (The appellant) shows what can only be described as a sign that is overgrown and partly obscured by the presence of a large box hedge directly behind the sign. The photographs taken in April 2019 show that a large proportion of the sign is obscured by foliage. The evidence presented shows that from the position a motorist would be in when parking their vehicle the sign which is approximately 5 m away from the vehicle, in January 2019, would have been obscured and setback within the box hedge. Even a motorist were to then walk to their right and pass the sign, there is every likelihood that the presence of the sign would be missed due to the presence of the foliage.
16. The CEO’s notes indicate that the pay-and-display machine is 25 m away from (The appellant's) vehicle. Neither the CEO’s photographs nor the appellant’s indicates to me where the pay-and-display machine was located in relation to the bay or the other sign.
17. I note that this penalty charge notice was issued at night time in January 2019 when it would have been dark and this would have further complicated the possibility of viewing the signage. Having considered the evidence presented by (The appellant) and the lack of evidence presented by the Council I am not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the signage erected at the location provided adequate information of the terms of the restriction relating to the bay within which (The appellant's) vehicle was parked on 24 January 2019. I therefore cannot be satisfied that a contravention has occurred.
18. Having made the above finding in relation to the question of signage, there is no requirement for me to consider the other points raised by (The appellant) in his notice of appeal.
19. For the reasons outlined above I allow the appeal.
20. I direct the Council to cancel the penalty charge notice and notice to owner in this matter.
21. (The appellant) is not required to make a payment to the Council.


It is interesting to me that the adjudicator agreed with the poor quality of the evidence provided by the CEO and the lack of signage that mentions CPZ hours.
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hcandersen
post Fri, 24 May 2019 - 19:00
Post #60


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Group: Members
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As I said, what counts is what's presented to the adj.

I've won appeals on this several times, in one case whoever compiled the pack - the dreaded human interface - even included wrong photos.

And with my ex-council hat on, this is appalling. Councils have a duty to their tax payers, let alone the law, to pursue due debts diligently, not pass them to third-rate eejits in 'parking admin'. This happens because they rake in so much money who cares if a few are missed.

But a win is a win. Well done.
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