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Parking in a suspended bay - 21S, What constitutes adequately signed?
Starman87
post Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 20:03
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Hi PePiPoo Members,

I'm hoping you can help me out with a parking ticket for parking in a suspended bay. Details are all below, hopefully I've got everything but left me know if I've left something out and I can add it.

I parked my car on the street in Lewisham, right next to a normal parking sign that had no suspended parking notices on it. I had passed a suspended parking bay on the way to the parking space, but it was on the other side of a big tree, and as the sign I parked to was clear I thought nothing of it. Unfortunately when I got back to my car I found I had a ticket for parking in a suspended bay.

Photos of where I parked, and the location of the suspended parking bay sign:
https://ibb.co/XL96T83
https://ibb.co/xSmMWTX

Photo of the suspended parking sign:
https://ibb.co/CvsRf7G

Photos of the Penalty Charge Notice attached to the vehicle:
https://ibb.co/YZ903Sj
https://ibb.co/jTYT3ZZ

I was in a bit of a rush to get the appeal in, and as I thought it was a relatively simple case I wrote my own informal appeal to the PCN after a brief scan of some similar cases on this website:

Appeal:
I am challenging this PCN as I do not believe the suspended bay had been properly marked. I discharged my duty as a motorist by complying with the instructions given by the traffic sign nearest to my location (please see attached photos). The suspended bay sign was located a significant distance away, behind a tree, with additional cones making out where motorists should not park. There were no cones, nor suspended bay signs in the close vicinity of where I parked.

I believe the authority did not mark the suspension as required under the RTRA.

With due respect, the CEO made a mistake because the authority's contractor did not erect sufficient signs. But, it was a mistake nonetheless and thus I request the PCN to be cancelled. I look forward to hearing from you confirming that you have cancelled the PCN.

Rejection response (page 1):
https://ibb.co/bLTZ9D4

I've now received the NTO:
https://ibb.co/N1Y1T8z
https://ibb.co/HKmxKyj
https://ibb.co/sCZF4St
https://ibb.co/3crFgC7

The key bit in the rejection response as I see it is the statement "it is up to drivers to check ALL signage for the location you intend to park to comply with any parking restrictions / suspensions". From reading other posts in this forum, and searching online I would argue that my duty as a motorist is discharged once I have complied with the instructions on the traffic sign nearest to my location (http://forums.pepipoo.com/lofiversion/index.php/t97436.html), which I feel I did.

I've tried searching the web, but I can't find anywhere what my duty as a motorist is with regards to suspended parking signs, or how many suspended parking signs a council has to put up in a bay with multiple parking signs in it. I'm not an expert though, so I'm hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction. Am I correct in thinking I have a case for appeal, or am I completely in the wrong?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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post Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 20:03
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Mad Mick V
post Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 20:21
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OP----It looks like you were parked opposite number 57 so the suspension might not have applied to you.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/58+Lewish...33;4d-0.0115221
Mick
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cp8759
post Tue, 18 Jun 2019 - 11:36
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If you park in a bay, and the nearest sign for that bay says you can park, then you are entitled to rely on that sign. There is no requirement that you walk up and down the street and check every sign. That being said, if you can show that your car was parked outside number 57, then it's an easy win.

Show us the council photos, they'll be on their website.


--------------------
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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Starman87
post Tue, 18 Jun 2019 - 18:25
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Hi both,

Thanks for your comments.

I've upload the Council photos to :https://ibb.co/xhwNNxg

Good idea on the house number, I went back and had a look and the place I parked is directly opposite the front door of number 58, where the light blue car is in the google Streetview. So no easy win for me unfortunately.

cp8759 - Is there any document that I can point to that says what the expectations are for a motorist in terms of checking signs? I think you're correct and it's common sense, but the council seem to think otherwise.

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cp8759
post Wed, 19 Jun 2019 - 11:21
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The regulations on adequacy are The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 and regulation 18 in particular, see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1996/24...ulation/18/made

The tribunal has long held that if the nearest sign says you can park, you're entitled to rely on the sign and don't need to go and check every sign on the street. The council is simply wrong in this regard.


--------------------
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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Starman87
post Thu, 20 Jun 2019 - 06:13
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Great, thanks for the link!

Would you be able to give me some advice for which boxes should I tick on the NTO form for my grounds for appeal?

I'm torn between "The alleged contravention did not occur" and "There has been a prodecdural improprietary on the part of the enforcement authority". Inadequate signage doesn't seem to fit into either cleanly...

Thanks!
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cp8759
post Thu, 20 Jun 2019 - 19:42
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The alleged contravention did not occur, this is because you cannot contravene signage that is inadequate.


--------------------
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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Starman87
post Sat, 22 Jun 2019 - 07:40
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Thanks cp8759.

Below is a draft of my appeal response, would you mind having a look and seeing if it's ok?

Dear Sir or Madam,

Parking ticket number: XXX
Vehicle registration number: XXX

I am writing to make a formal appeal with regards the above parking ticket. This letter is in addition to my completed appeal form, which is enclosed. I am making my appeal due to the following reasons:

- The alleged contravention did not occur
as the suspended parking signage was inadequate, and it is not possible to contravene signage that is inadequate (as per The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996, Regulation 18).

As the attached evidence shows, I was parked next to a parking sign which contained no suspended parking information. When parking my car I discharged my duty as a motorist by complying with the instructions given by the traffic sign nearest to my location.

The suspended parking sign was located a significant distance away, physically serperated from the area in which I parked by a large tree. In addition to the suspended parking sign, cones had been laid out to indicate where where motorists should not park. There were no cones, nor suspended bay signs in the area in which I parked. I would further submit that the signage was clearly inadequate as other motorists thought it appropriate to park in the same location.

Yours faithfully,
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hcandersen
post Sat, 22 Jun 2019 - 08:32
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On *** I parked my car as seen in the attached photo.

As the authority will see, immediately ahead of my car is a traffic sign which permits parking for prescribed permit holders or pay and display. This restriction applies 24/7.

Having parked my car and consulted this sign I displayed the necessary permit/P&D (do we actually know whether you displayed anything?) and left. I was very surprised to find a PCN on my return, even more so that it referred to a suspended parking place notice which, as I discovered later, lay on a traffic sign some *** metres behind my car with no intervisibility between my car and the sign due to the presence of a mature tree on the footway, see photo.

The authority's case is that they were not required to place a suspension sign on the traffic sign ahead of my car. The law takes the contrary view in that this was the relevant sign as regards my parking and the authority's failure to erect a sign at that location renders the alleged contravention unenforceable. (RTRA and LATOR refer).

Is my take.

Don't recite reams and reams of legislation, it is a waste of time. They know or are presumed to know the law as it applies, all you have to do is present the facts. I often wonder whether people feel that they need to spell out the law and then the officer would go, well I never, is this really the law?? (Apart from anything else, as a matter of their employment council officers may only take legal advice from the council's legal officers, not a third party!)

This post has been edited by hcandersen: Sat, 22 Jun 2019 - 09:23
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cp8759
post Mon, 24 Jun 2019 - 10:00
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@hcandersen adjudicators like to see a consistent argument being put at every stage of the process, as for this idea that we can just give the facts and council officials will correctly apply the law, that's fantasy stuff as you well know. While it is true that council officials can only take legal advice from their own legal department, we're sending a representation, not legal advice. If the council official concerned is unfamiliar with the law being quoted, he should seek advice from other council officers (there's no reason why they can't go to legal and say "a motorist has said such and such, is there anything valid in what he's saying?"), indeed in the Anthony Hall case the adjudicator found against the council precisely because the author of the Notice of Rejection didn't seek advice from a more experienced council officer.

Personally I would go with the draft Starman87 has put in post 8.


--------------------
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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Starman87
post Tue, 25 Jun 2019 - 06:11
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Thanks for the comments both.

I think I'll go with the letter as it is, and then use hcandersen's tactic of argueing why the council is wrong if it goes to the adjudicator.

Cheers for your help, I'll let you know how it goes.

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Starman87
post Sat, 3 Aug 2019 - 05:51
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Hi All,

Just a quick note to say I received a letter back from the council and they have accepted my representations and cancelled the PCN biggrin.gif

Thanks to Mad Mick V, cp8759 and hcandersen for all your help and comments. I really appreciate your willingness to help out a total stranger!

Thanks also to the team who setup and run this forum, it's a great example of the power of the internet for good.

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