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Parking in "disabled badge holders" zone; inconsistent street stenciling
swanseamarina
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 16:51
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So, I parked in Swansea on what I now know is Burrows Place.

There was a section with on-street stencilling "Disabled" so I didn't park there, but parked a little way up. One side said 2 hours, one side said 3 so I parked in the 3 hour section which was empty - there were plenty of spaces in both areas.

Turns out they stencilled one disabled area but not the diagonally opposite one (no internal "saint" logo either); so I got a ticket - Penalty Charge Notice.

Now, I offered my observations that the markings were deficient and asked for their discretion but they refused and have given me until 21st July to pay the reduced amount (£35 vs £70).

What's got me thinking I have grounds to oppose the PCN is that on the letter they've sent me they've said they're charging me under the 2002 Actregulations, and have issued images from that Act [sorry my mistake, they didn't]. I've looked at the 2016 Actregulations and it appears to be much closer to requiring on-street stencilling (unless it's for "Doctor", Part 5(1) says that may be omitted), whilst the 2002 Actregulations made it optional.

Seems like an obvious failing as they're charging me underusing the revoked TSRGD 2002? They don't actually say that per se, they just quote it as their support for there being no legal requirement for them to have disabled stencilling.

It's not the _lack_ of stencilling that caused the error (on my part) it's the inconsistency of it. One doesn't expect different areas of the same street to be marked differently. FWIW the markings all appear to be recent. https://goo.gl/maps/VGvUyZKyFXp (link to Google Street View) I was at the South end (no double end markings) closest the camera on the left (West) of this, not in the right-hand clearly marked area.

Any preliminary thoughts, please?

Will upload images later.

[Elsewhere I've seen it called "disabled legend", so that keyword is here for search purposes.]

This post has been edited by swanseamarina: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 23:22
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post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 16:51
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cp8759
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 17:40
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The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 are not an Act, they're a statutory instrument. Can't really comment in a meaningful way on anything else until we see the pictures.


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stamfordman
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 18:21
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What does the bay sign say where you parked? That's the key.
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Mad Mick V
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 20:06
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Here?

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Burrows...33;4d-3.9376119

The GSV is completely out of date. They did have two signs for three spaces so I am not sure how you missed them. That said the bays don't look wide enough in that 2014 shot.

Mick
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swanseamarina
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 23:19
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QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 21:06) *
The GSV is completely out of date. They did have two signs for three spaces so I am not sure how you missed them. That said the bays don't look wide enough in that 2014 shot.


Yes. I didn't miss one of the signs (the other was not visible to me, behind the cabinet from my position in the drivers seat AFAICT), I was in a hurry and in unfamiliar surroundings - flustered getting kiddo to a schools event at the Museum (where I'd thought I'd found a space, was advised it was staff only, and so was re-parking!). It was a perfect storm.

There were disabled spaces on that street (see above linked GSV or image linked below), so I thought the others must be regular spaces; I'd always assumed disabled spaces were "park as long as you need" as I've never seen time limited ones so in my rush I (stupidly) interpreted the "P" with time-limit as EITHER "time limited parking" OR "if you're disabled park as long as you like", that with the lack of markings [again, the ones in my city are all marked with the wheelchair logo or with side markings, or coloured surfacing] ... it was a genuine mistake, though I consider there to be reasonable mitigations (but not necessarily strong legal mitigations from Swansea council's POV).

But, we're super poor right now and £35 is worth quite a lot of my time to avoid losing ... AFAIAA it's the first time I've ever parked in a disabled space, and at least I have the reassurance that when I returned to the vehicle there was still space there; so no actual harm.

I sent a letter already and the images below are their response: I'm slightly miffed they didn't accept my argument that putting disabled against one bay but not the other was unfair.

But, the citing of revoked legislation seems a bit weird ... I can only assume they're doing that because the 2016 act doesn't unambiguously state that "disabled" stencilling is optional [on my reading it says it's optional for "Doctor" but not when you use any other word(s) -- cf TSRGD Schedule 7, Part 5 1(1) ].

PCN

Their letter

Yes, that last image was that rubbish. You can't read any of the writing in it, it's just a crop-out from the Google Street View (GSV) image I think.

My images on the day

@stamfordman, the sign has a white P on a blue field top-left, under which is a slightly smaller disabled logo in the same blue; it reads (non-Cymraeg section):
QUOTE
Disabled badge
holders only

3 hours
No return
within 3 hours


That's the part that is totally unreadable in the third page of their letter. I thought they were separate clauses AFAIR; that probably seems stupid, it probably was! ;o)

@Mad Mick V, I can't measure the space to be sure if it's wide enough; the pictured vehicle is 1.8m wide so I'd guess the space is 2.1m or so.

Aside: @cp8759, apologies for referring to secondary legislation as an Act, it must be "regulations under the Road Traffic Act" or somesuch; I'll correct it.

Action taken: I've sent an email - I should have asked here first - asking for relevant TROs (I can't find any at https://tro.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk/a...thority=Swansea that mention Burrows Place, I did download them all but they're image files and don't have searchable text in them) and what the specific charge was. Perhaps I shouldn't have done that ...?

Any assistance or suggestions gratefully received.

This post has been edited by swanseamarina: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 23:24
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Mad Mick V
post Wed, 11 Jul 2018 - 07:28
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The legislation about the width of disabled bays is in Part V here:-

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/362/schedule/7/made

Has to be a minimum of 2.7m otherwise its enforcement may be compromised.

Under the TSRGDs 2016 a "Disabled" road marking is optional.

Other than that your case would be down to mitigation.

Mick
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swanseamarina
post Wed, 11 Jul 2018 - 09:04
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QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 - 08:28) *
Has to be a minimum of 2.7m otherwise its enforcement may be compromised.

Under the TSRGDs 2016 a "Disabled" road marking is optional.


I gather it's an adjudicator who decides these things, do they generally cancel charges if measurements are wrong?

Can you quote/explain me TSRGD 2016 on that point, I can't see it

Any opinion on the letter using 2002 regulations that are obviously revoked?

Thanks for your input Mick.
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Mad Mick V
post Wed, 11 Jul 2018 - 10:11
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Part 5, 2 (b):-

2.—(1) When reserved for disabled badge holders at certain times (whether or not also reserved for other users)—

(a)the length of the bay must be at least 6600 mm; and
(b)the width of the bay must be at least 2700 mm (or 3000 mm when placed in the centre of the carriageway) except in a case where, on account of the nature of traffic using the road, the overall width of the carriageway is insufficient to accommodate a bay of that width.

Got to get the tape measure out and photograph it I am afraid if that's the route you choose.

Mick
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hcandersen
post Wed, 11 Jul 2018 - 12:21
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OP, the GSV shows:
A clear traffic sign where you parked;
No parking places before where you parked on your side of the road;
On the other side of the road but some way before your location a single bay reserved for disabled and marked as such;
On the other side of the road and opposite you a parking place with max parking of 1 hour.

Your account stated:
One side said 2 hours, one side said 3 so I parked in the 3 hour section which was empty - there were plenty of spaces in both areas.

This is inconsistent with GSV.

Maybe GSV is wrong?
What sign said ‘3’? If the one next to your car, then you would have had to have read it to see this, but it said parking is reserved for disabled. So either you read it and misunderstood, read and understood it but decided to stay anyway, or didn’t read.

Pl review the GSV evidence and either tell us what’s changed or review your account.
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swanseamarina
post Wed, 11 Jul 2018 - 17:18
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I don't know how it's material to the case but ... I went from the staff car-park at the museum, past what I recall as about 3 disabled spaces on my right, with a very clear road marking. Then there were spaces to my right, I only needed maybe half-an-hour as we were waiting for the teacher to arrive, we had refundable parking the museum staff told me (turned out later it was a partial refund). Anyway, I turned at the junction, started to park on the East of Burrows Place, noticed the space - as I recall said 2 hours (GSV says 1hr, no return in 2, might be still that; I'm about an hour away so I can't check). Looked at the time on the opposite sign noticed it was longer, 3 hours, thought I could then tie in moving it with lunchtime. Parked c. 8h45 at the South end of the West bay, set my alarm for 11h25, then went of to find my son and then the teacher to help take in the equipment.

When my alarm went off, I excused myself saying I'd be gone a while for lunch, went to get my packed-lunch at the car, noticed the ticket; realised after some befuddlement that I'd parked in a disabled bay. Moved the car as some people arrived to park, sat and ate my lunch. Moved the car to the another car-park at the West of the museum.

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hcandersen
post Wed, 11 Jul 2018 - 21:20
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Sorry to be picky, but you say you saw the sign.

But it refers to BB parking only.

What you mean is that you did not look at the sign properly, as required. I’m not saying this is right or wrong or that defences cannot be found, but let’s as least start off with reality. It helps.
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southpaw82
post Wed, 11 Jul 2018 - 21:29
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TSRGD 2016, reg 14(2)

QUOTE
A sign to which this paragraph applies and which is of a size, colour and type prescribed, or treated as prescribed, by the Traffic Signs Regulations 2002(1) (“the 2002 Regulations”) is to be treated as being of a size, colour and type prescribed by these Regulations.


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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swanseamarina
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:53
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 - 22:20) *
Sorry to be picky, but you say you saw the sign.

But it refers to BB parking only.

What you mean is that you did not look at the sign properly, as required. I’m not saying this is right or wrong or that defences cannot be found, but let’s as least start off with reality. It helps.



I don't know what BB posting is and it's not in the [a href="http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=36864"] acronym list [/a].

Your cross-examination game is strong. As I'm sure I already said, yes I obviously looked at the sign, I set my alarm by the 3h limit and the longer limit was why I didn't park opposite. The stenciling "disabled" was why I didn't park in the first vacant area i came to.

So, to recapitulate, I know I looked at the sign. AFAICT, at the time my thought process was this isn't reserved disabled as it has a time limit (I'd assume disabled spaces didn't have that) and no stenciling. Ex post facto I think I read the stated clauses as OR, so either Disabled parking OR 3 hours.

You seem clearly convinced that I flagrantly parked there without care for disabled access and so shouldn't be helped. Which of course is a reasonable assumption. But unless you interview the museum worker, the school teacher and other parents, my son, and analyse the CCTV footage in the area then you'll have no corroboration. If you're not going to trust posts in the forum on the basis of evidence provided then I can't see why you're here except to troll me. There's literally nothing that can prove my innocence of malice to you; regardless of whether you catch me in an error of speech/writing or otherwise. Similarly I should probably assume you're trolling me with your insinuations of lying.

Even if I wrre lying to hide a malicious and (in this case) illogical choice to park in a reserved area these points are still IMO worthy of being answered:

Road stenciling clearly serves a purpose, and most councils appear to use it, including this one -- presumably to avoid mistakes by motorists, such as myself. You appear to refute that by your continued questioning? Inconsistent markings will lead to false presumptions and so should be corrected, no?

IMO councils should provide accurate information, and charges should state clearly and unambiguously the legal basis on which they are made. Presumably you also disagree there? Reliance on inaccurate references to legislation should be adjusted.

@southpaw82 presumably that just grandfathers in signage, it doesn't also apply to markings? There seem to be pretty strong reasons not to allow the deficient omission of road markings to be carried over to the new regulations. The fact that the 2002 regulations make unambiguous the optionality of stenciling and the 2016 regulations appear to make only "doctor" stenciling optional seems to go along with normal improvement over time. In any case Swansea council seem to feel stenciling should be done, otherwise why would they do it? It seems they made a mistake, which unfortunately for me allowed me to make a mistake -- I think it's reasonable for both of us to fix that without financial penalties.
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stamfordman
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:55
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BB = blue badge
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swanseamarina
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 13:02
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QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 - 11:11) *
Part 5, 2 (b):-

2.—(1) When reserved for disabled badge holders at certain times (whether or not also reserved for other users)—

(a)the length of the bay must be at least 6600 mm; and
(b)the width of the bay must be at least 2700 mm (or 3000 mm when placed in the centre of the carriageway) except in a case where, on account of the nature of traffic using the road, the overall width of the carriageway is insufficient to accommodate a bay of that width.

Got to get the tape measure out and photograph it I am afraid if that's the route


Thanks Mick. I think it can be smaller if its a bay; in your opinion would the size discrepancy be enough for an adjudicator to cancel the PCN? I wouldn't want to rely on that, as that's not the cause of the mistake and I wouldn't want the area to be removed, it seems wide enough (in a non-legal sense).
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DancingDad
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 13:32
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QUOTE (swanseamarina @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 13:53) *
……...@southpaw82 presumably that just grandfathers in signage, it doesn't also apply to markings? There seem to be pretty strong reasons not to allow the deficient omission of road markings to be carried over to the new regulations. The fact that the 2002 regulations make unambiguous the optionality of stenciling and the 2016 regulations appear to make only "doctor" stenciling optional seems to go along with normal improvement over time. In any case Swansea council seem to feel stenciling should be done, otherwise why would they do it? It seems they made a mistake, which unfortunately for me allowed me to make a mistake -- I think it's reasonable for both of us to fix that without financial penalties.

Grandfather signage applies back to the year dot and allows all sorts of anomalies.
But not needing road legends is specific within TSRGD 2016 which is the latest legislation on signage.


You need to persuade an adjudicator to accept that you looked at a parking sign, registered the 3 hour limit but failed to see the blue wheelchair symbol or the words Disabled Permit Holders Only.
Personally I don't think you will or that if you do, the adjudicator would not see that as the act of a reasonably competent driver.


Mick's point on the width of the bay seems strongest.
Being misled on the road legend being missing and asking for discretion would be my preference for initial challenge.


This post has been edited by DancingDad: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 13:34
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cp8759
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 14:29
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QUOTE (swanseamarina @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 13:53) *
@southpaw82 presumably that just grandfathers in signage, it doesn't also apply to markings?

Section 64(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, my emphasis:

General provisions as to traffic signs.
(1)In this Act “traffic sign” means any object or device (whether fixed or portable) for conveying, to traffic on roads or any specified class of traffic, warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions of any description—
(a)specified by regulations made by the relevant authority, or
(b)authorised by the relevant authority, and any line or mark on a road for so conveying such warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions.



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No, I am not a lawyer.
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hcandersen
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 16:56
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OP, you have to address the fact that you did not read a clear sign and take in what it meant. And believe me, this will be an uphill task. Your account won’t succeed as written.

So, what facts could you assemble which give you the strongest argument?

Opposite you were free parking bays;
Your bay was of the same dimensions as the one opposite;
It was not marked as being restricted to disabled.(that it doesn’t have to be is not the point IMO, it wasn’t marked)

You pulled in; everything about the road markings led you to believe this was a regular parking place, nothing about the markings indicated that it was restricted to a particular class of user; you exited the car and saw the traffic sign opposite ( free parking); you scan read, and apparently misread, the traffic sign on your side.

Might be a start.

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cp8759
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 17:27
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 17:56) *
OP, you have to address the fact that you did not read a clear sign and take in what it meant. And believe me, this will be an uphill task. Your account won’t succeed as written.

So, what facts could you assemble which give you the strongest argument?

Opposite you were free parking bays;
Your bay was of the same dimensions as the one opposite;
It was not marked as being restricted to disabled.(that it doesn’t have to be is not the point IMO, it wasn’t marked)

You pulled in; everything about the road markings led you to believe this was a regular parking place, nothing about the markings indicated that it was restricted to a particular class of user; you exited the car and saw the traffic sign opposite ( free parking); you scan read, and apparently misread, the traffic sign on your side.

Might be a start.

IMO that could only ever be mitigation, never a ground of appeal. A key feature of statutory parking restrictions is that, providing signs which are substantially compliant with the regulations are lawfully placed on a road, it cannot be a ground of appeal to say that the motorist misread or misunderstood the signs. As each bay is governed by its own signs, an adjudicator would expect you to look at the sign for the bay where you were parked.

However you might be able to exploit an infelicitous choice of words on the back of the PCN, under "How to challenge", it says "It is the responsibility of the Registered Keeper to appeal NOT the driver"; this implies a motorist in receipt of the PCN cannot make informal representations and these must be made by the owner, which is not the case. This is obviously wrong as it has long been accepted that a motorist who is not the owner is entitled to make representations, indeed the regs imply that anyone at all can make informal reps.


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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hcandersen
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 22:14
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You miss my underlying point, the bay was improperly marked as being for BB holders because it was not to the correct dimensions.

The process starts with markings and then signs. In this case they were inconsistent, so which is correct? Irrespective of the actual wording, the OP claims that their mistake was a direct result of the authority’s.

My approach is a draft to try and find the best approach. We have time.

The reality is that they did challenge and it was considered. IMO this leaves the wording argument unsaleable now?

And there are withins aplenty in the PCN, but I’ve given up on these technical arguments when taken as a whole the correct wording is in place, even if it’s also contradicted. Substantial compliance seems to be the adj’s out nowadays.
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