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Southwark - PCN Contravention 12
grant_413
post Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 14:55
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Hi all,

Southwark - Union Street.


I received a parking charge notice on Saturday night @ 21:28, first spotted @ 21:22. It was a genuine mistake as I could not see any parking signs at all.

Parking contravention 12: Parking in a residents' or shared use parking place or zone without either clearly displaying a valid permit or voucher or pay and display ticket issued for that place, or without payment of the parking charge.

The next day I looked on google street view and there is 1 tiny sign at the end of the bay attached to a 20 mph sign. Which I could argue is not very clear at all.


Please find attached photographs of my vehicle (Volvo) supplied by CEO and screenshot of the street I parked on.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Also read a bit about 0845?


Ticket:
https://ibb.co/qJzLN1W
https://ibb.co/VVW573B
https://ibb.co/vL04GYL

Car CEO pictures:
https://ibb.co/ZdYwm28
https://ibb.co/wJyhdHg

Sign CEO pictures:
https://ibb.co/BsRsP2M
https://ibb.co/NnGwpSH



Google Street View
https://goo.gl/maps/RyviuK7NTGA2 - (Parked on the right further down)

This post has been edited by grant_413: Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 18:32
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post Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 14:55
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stamfordman
post Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 14:57
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Put pics on https://imgbb.com or such like as can't read them.

Post council's pics if not got yet.

post google street view link
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grant_413
post Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 15:07
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 14:57) *
Put pics on https://imgbb.com or such like as can't read them.

Post council's pics if not got yet.

post google street view link



Done I think! Thank you!
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cp8759
post Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 15:35
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We need a higher res version of the PCN, it's too small to read. Also we need a link to google street view, not a screenshot.


--------------------
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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grant_413
post Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 18:33
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 15:35) *
We need a higher res version of the PCN, it's too small to read. Also we need a link to google street view, not a screenshot.



Sorted, thank you for your help!
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cp8759
post Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 23:25
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See what others say but I can't see any obvious grounds to challenge this. Did you not look for signs?


--------------------
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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grant_413
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 11:07
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 23:25) *
See what others say but I can't see any obvious grounds to challenge this. Did you not look for signs?


Yeah I looked for signs, I was parked further down the street and missed the only one which is at the other end attached to a 20mph sign. Completely missed it.
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cp8759
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 11:39
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How far down were you parked? If you were at the very end of the bay, as seen from here https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5038564,-0....3312!8i6656, you can argue the signage was not visible.

It's been ruled that while motorists must look for signs, they are not required to traipse up and down the road looking for signs. Which way did you walk off towards after you parked?


--------------------
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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grant_413
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 12:14
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 11:39) *
How far down were you parked? If you were at the very end of the bay, as seen from here https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5038564,-0....3312!8i6656, you can argue the signage was not visible.

It's been ruled that while motorists must look for signs, they are not required to traipse up and down the road looking for signs. Which way did you walk off towards after you parked?


I was parked about 3/4 of the way down, and actually walked towards the sign and passed it. I saw the 20 mph sign but because the parking permit sign is so small and directly below it, I missed it.
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cp8759
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 13:04
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Well it's not clear cut but the Traffic Signs Manual, though not legally binding, does provide a useful guide, see page 69 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/go...-chapter-03.pdf

7.50 Signs should be provided at approximately 30m
intervals, i.e. half the distance recommended for signs
indicating a prohibition of waiting (see para 6.34).
As white bay markings denote a place where a
driver might be able to park, information about
the permitted parking is required at more frequent
intervals, particularly where the bay marking does not
have any legend to indicate the type of user. The first
sign should be no more than 15 m from the end of
the bay. Where the length of the bay is less than
30 m, a sign mounted at the mid-point should
therefore be sufficient (but see para 7.51).


I've measured the distance and it appears the far end of the bay is some 32 metres from the sign, so well over the 15 m guideline from the end of the bay.


--------------------
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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grant_413
post Wed, 20 Feb 2019 - 17:49
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My reply from Southwark Parking, which I received this afternoon. Used the Traffic sign manual and also 0845 High Court.

Think I’ve lost this one, not sure what to do now.

https://ibb.co/w4t85r7

This post has been edited by grant_413: Wed, 20 Feb 2019 - 17:50
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John U.K.
post Wed, 20 Feb 2019 - 18:10
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Please post up what you wrote to them.
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grant_413
post Wed, 20 Feb 2019 - 18:33
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Dear Sir/Madam,

I received a PCN on the 09/02/19 on Union Street London. I would like to challenge this PCN on 2 grounds.


Ground 1: Sign Sitting


I was parked at the far end of the bay. I walked up and down the street on the left hand side facing directly west and could not see any clear parking signs.


It was not until I looked on Google Maps afterwards I saw the sign at the other end of the parking bay. I have measured the distance on Google Maps and it appears the far end of the bay where I parked is some 32 metres from the sign, double the 15 m guideline from the end of the bay. Also It's been ruled that while motorists must look for signs, they are not required to traipse up and down the road looking for signs.


The Traffic Sign Manual ,Chapter 3, Regulatory Signs. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/go...-chapter-03.pdf


Page 69, Section 7.50 states:


7.50 Signs should be provided at approximately 30m

intervals, i.e. half the distance recommended for signs

indicating a prohibition of waiting (see para 6.34).

As white bay markings denote a place where a

driver might be able to park, information about

the permitted parking is required at more frequent

intervals, particularly where the bay marking does not

have any legend to indicate the type of user. The first

sign should be no more than 15 m from the end of

the bay. Where the length of the bay is less than

30 m, a sign mounted at the mid-point should

therefore be sufficient (but see para 7.51).


Ground 2: The penalty demanded exceeds the amount due in the circumstances of the case: The telephone payment option includes a 5p per minute surcharge:


On the rear of the PCN it is stated that payment can be made by telephone by calling the payment line 084 5600 0511. The Office of Communications confirms on its website at:

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-an...all-really-cost



"The cost of calling 0843, 0844 and 0845 numbers is made up of two parts: an access charge going to your phone company, and a service charge set by the organisation you are calling."


The service charge for calls to 084 numbers is between 0p and 7p per minute"


A quick internet search confirms numerous telecoms providers offer 0844 and 0845 numbers to businesses and the public sector alike, as a means of generating additional revenue, for example the website www.08direct.co.uk/numbers/earn-rebate/ proudly claims that "Creating a new revenue stream for your business through your inbound calls could not be easier. You can make money every time somebody picks up the phone and contacts your business.", just above a pricing table confirming an 0845 number obtained through this particular company can generate an income of between 1.5 and 4p per minute, depending on the volume of calls.


My research has discovered that Southwark Council charge 5p per minute for the pleasure of the public using this method to to make payment. Although you conveniently omit how much the caller is going to be charged on the ticket.



In London Borough of Camden v The Parking Adjudicator & Ors [2011] EWHC 295 (Admin) at paragraphs 28 and 29 the High Court ruled as follows:


"28. Mr Coppel submits that the only form of payment that the Council are obliged to accept as a matter of law is cash in legal tender, unless they agree otherwise. As a matter of strict theory that may be right, although I venture to suggest that a Council which required parking contraveners to pay cash in notes, or coins of £1 or higher value (current legal tender) would be vulnerable to a challenge on grounds of rationality. Nobody is forced to pay by credit card. The Council suggest that it is not increasing the penalty charge but rather recovering an external cost associated with making a convenient method of payment available to those guilty of parking contraventions. Mr Coppel accepts that if this argument were right (and subject always to the vires to make any charge), then so far as the parking enforcement regime was concerned, the Council could recover by way of administrative fee the cost of dealing with any mechanism of payment except cash presented in denominations which were legal tender. There was no evidence before me of any external costs to a merchant associated with payment by debit card or cheque but such facilities are rarely free. There is clearly a significant cost in staff time and systems administration involved in accepting any form of payment. Cheques are especially labour intensive and costly. No doubt any enforcing authority could easily identify the global costs of collecting penalty charges by category and then attempt to divide those costs by the number of penalty charges they expect to recover to determine an administration fee appropriate to each. Yet that is far from the limit of the administrative charges that an inventive enforcing authority might seek to add to the penalty charge authorised by law. Civil enforcement officers must be employed, paid and equipped. There will, in addition, be an administrative superstructure which costs money. It is, submits Mr Coppel, only because the Parking Adjudicators failed to understand that there is a critical difference between the penalty charge and the costs of recovering that charge that they fell into the error of concluding that the penalty charge exceeded the amount prescribed by the statutory scheme. Mr Rogers, who appears for the Parking Adjudicators, submits that whatever label the Council attempt to attach to the 1.3% fee, it is in substance a surcharge that results in a demand for payment of a sum which exceeds that authorised under the statutory scheme.


29. I am unable to accept Mr Coppel's argument that for the purposes of regulation 4(4)(e) the 1.3% fee can be separated from the penalty charge. As is common ground, an enforcing authority is not at liberty to set its own penalty charges but is limited to the sums set under the statutory scheme. The substance of what the Council did was to increase their penalty charge if payment were to be made by credit card to 101.3% of the sum authorised under that scheme. On Mr Coppel's argument the Council might just as well have introduced other administrative charges and added those too. It is clear, in my judgment, that a Parking Adjudicator is obliged to allow an appeal if the sum required to be paid to an enforcing authority by the motorist exceeds the amount set by the statutory scheme, however the enforcing authority seeks to characterise the additional charge. It makes no difference that the Council identified four mechanisms of payment, only one of which included the surcharge. Having offered that method all motorists were freely entitled to use it and were exposed to the potential demand for 101.3% of the appropriate penalty charge. In these circumstances the Council was demanding a sum to discharge the motorist's liability which was greater than that prescribed by law."


In this instance, by imposing a 5p per minute service charge for telephone payments, the council is offering a payment method which exposes the motorist to having to pay a total amount which exceeds the statutory penalty prescribed by law. The High Court has already ruled that where one payment method attracts a surcharge, the availability of other payment methods that do not attract the surcharge is not relevant.


The council has to be admired for its inventiveness in using an 0845 number, no doubt to help offset the cost of processing payments, but nonetheless I submit this means the amount being demanded exceeds the amount due in the circumstances of the case. It follows that the appeal must be allowed.


I look forward to hearing back from you.

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cp8759
post Thu, 21 Feb 2019 - 12:55
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QUOTE (grant_413 @ Wed, 20 Feb 2019 - 17:49) *
Think I’ve lost this one, not sure what to do now.

Don't be silly, councils always reject informal challenges because they know most people will give up and pay.

Wait for the Notice to Owner and then we can submit formal representations. They will likely reject again, but you then have the opportunity to appeal to London Tribunals, which to be honest is the only place where you can get a fair, independent and objective decision (The tribunal doesn't get the money from the penalties, the council does, hence the council tends to reject everything you say in most cases).


--------------------
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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