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PCN 06 - Brent - parking meter inaccessible
j-st
post Mon, 25 Jun 2018 - 10:43
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My wife recently received a parking ticket in Brent - she was unable to pay for parking as the machine was inaccessible, cordoned off by building works, and there were no other machines available.
There was also no indication on the signs that it was possible to pay via the app, else she would have done so.

Do you believe we have grounds to contest the PCN? 14 day period is up today, so am inclined to do so.






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post Mon, 25 Jun 2018 - 10:43
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stamfordman
post Mon, 13 Aug 2018 - 10:35
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Machine is behind a dark mesh - I can't see the details on it really.


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Mad Mick V
post Mon, 13 Aug 2018 - 12:47
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It is telling that the CEO, who took umpeen photos, missed the ticket machine and the bay sign in those shots.
I have been through a lot of Notices for this street and they refer to P&D, not pay by phone so perhaps the parking places order does not specify PBP. However the critical issue must be the sign and if this does not specify PBP the OP is home and dry because the ticket machine (whatever it's got written on it) is NOT a traffic sign.
I return to the Prendi case which might be of assistance, although it was for a broken ticket machine:-
2100346960
A contravention occurs if a vehicle is parked in an on-street pay and display bay during controlled hours, without clearly displaying a valid pay and display voucher.

There is no dispute that Mr Prendi's vehicle was at this location in Linden Gardens or that the Penalty Charge Notice was issued to it, as shown in the photographs/digital images produced by the Enforcement Authority.

Mr Prendi says that he went to the pay and display machine but it was not working out of order and so he went to look for another machine but there was no other one near. Mr Prendi adds that the next one is over a mile away.

Mr Prendi says that he left a note to this effect in the vehicle. The civil enforcement officer has not recorded details of any note but the images appear to confirm one may have been there.

The Enforcement Authority do not appear to dispute that the pay and display was not working and have produced no maintenance records in this regard. The Enforcement Authority do refer to the signage on the machine, advising the motorist that if 'not working use another machine'.

Whether there is another machine within a reasonable distance will depend on the circumstances and each case will turn on its own facts. However, the Enforcement Authority cannot expect motorists to tramp the streets of their borough trying to find a machine in working order. Going too far away from the parking place may indeed involving entering a different parking zone where, restrictions and charges could differ.

Considering carefully all the evidence before me, I cannot find as a fact that, on this particular occasion, a contravention did occur.

Accordingly, this appeal must be allowed.

Mick


This post has been edited by Mad Mick V: Mon, 13 Aug 2018 - 12:47
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j-st
post Mon, 13 Aug 2018 - 13:18
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thanks all, will draft something up later today as a challenge. Can't believe they will continue to pursue what is a quite ridiculous case but let's see
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j-st
post Tue, 14 Aug 2018 - 15:42
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Draft challenge as follows (will post it later). Thanks for the help above. Worth me getting my own pic of the road sign?

Dear Sirs

I would like to formally challenge the above PCN on the grounds that the alleged contravention did not occur.

As can be seen in one of the photos taken by the CEO (12/06/2018; 10:17:24), the car was parked directly outside of a parking sign. The sign clearly stated the parking restrictions (“Mon – Sat, 8am – 6.30pm…. Max Stay 2 hours; No return within 2 hours”) and then how to pay (“Pay at machine; <right arrow to machine> Display ticket”) . There was no indication whatsoever on the road sign of any alternative means of payment.

I followed the signage closely, and went to pay at the machine indicated, a short walk up the road (and just round the corner onto Montrose Crescent) with both cash and debit card to hand. Unfortunately upon arriving at the machine location, it was fenced off (by two different fences, as indicated in my photo, including a fixed green hoarding) and thus the machine was inaccessible. Therefore, I was unable to make the payment as intended, and as instructed on the parking sign.

I walked up the rest of station grove but there was no other machine available, and upon returning to my car there was no other machine visible in the other direction either, or on the opposite side of the road. I wrote a clear note to indicate why I could not display a valid ticket, and placed it inside my car, as per the CEOs photos.

As indicated by the note, I had both the means and intention to pay. Given that the pay machine (which was the only means of payment indicated on the road sign) was completely inaccessible, and no alternatives were shown, to penalise me for failing to pay is somewhat ludicrous. The authority failed to make means of payment available, and thus any PCN cannot be enforced in those circumstances – to do so would be wholly unreasonable.

The initial rejection to my informal challenge failed to consider the circumstances. It made no mention of the inaccessible machine and even went so far as explaining that “If a ticket machine is faulty, you must use another machine or pay by RingGo. A sign on the Pay & Display machine explains this” when it was very clear that the Pay & Display machine couldn’t be accessed in order to determine this. The rejection did not consider the failings of the council to ensure that either the machine was available or that alternatives were clearly shown. Failing in a statutory duty is a procedural impropriety and grounds alone to cancel the PCN.

Further, there was no indication on the road sign that a pay-by-phone facility was available (and indeed, the instruction to “display ticket” suggested it was not). And finally, the contravention was described as “parked without clearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket or voucher”, so I do not see how the existence of a pay-by-phone facility (again, not indicated) as highlighted on the initial rejection is relevant for the contravention as set out in the original PCN

I therefore respectfully submit that the alleged contravention did not occur because I was unable to comply with the council’s requirement to display a ticket from this specified machine. Please cancel the PCN.

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DancingDad
post Tue, 14 Aug 2018 - 16:03
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Para 3...add in something to the effect that instructions on the machine were unreadable nor could any Pay by Phone instructions be made out.
I like to see headings as well but adding Procedural Impropriety to first sentence would suffice.
Apart from that gives all is needed
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j-st
post Sun, 7 Oct 2018 - 20:54
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Appeal rejected. Joy.
Will take it to the tribunal though need to submit PDQ - letter sent 11 Sept so assume I have until tomorrow (Mon 8 Oct) and not Tues 9 Oct?

The rejection again seems to ignore the fact there was no indication whatsoever on the sign that pay by phone was an option...

In terms of additional ammunition, is it worth adding in any of the following
- the fact that my wife was pregnant at the time - ie wasn't going to go on a massive trek to find an operational machine
- her previous parking history - ie printouts from PaybyPhone identifying when she has paid by app to park. This is regularly in Barnet (probably 2-3 times a week) and suggests that when signage is clear, she always pay - and doesn't habitually try to avoid it

Will be annoyed if we're unsuccessful - the PCN was wholly unreasonable



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DancingDad
post Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 07:07
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Register the appeal.
Use the salient facts, machine totally inaccessible, no chance of reading instructions for alternative machine or PBP, tried to find alternative machine plus PI in failing to consider..... full evidence to follow.
I suspect Islington will not contest but will take you to the wire before DNCing.
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Neil B
post Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 07:25
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QUOTE (j-st @ Sun, 7 Oct 2018 - 21:54) *
letter sent 11 Sept so assume I have until tomorrow (Mon 8 Oct) and not Tues 9 Oct?

Weds 10/10

but just get it registered as DD said. Do it on-line.

This post has been edited by Neil B: Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 07:29


--------------------
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 11 May 2018 - 12:30) *
Neil is good at working backwards.

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stamfordman
post Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 07:52
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 08:07) *
I suspect Islington will not contest but will take you to the wire before DNCing.



Barmy Brent not Idiotic Islington - I agree I don't expect then to contest this but it's not good that they ignored the cordoned off meter at formal appeal - surely the person writing the rejection saw this.
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j-st
post Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 07:55
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thanks, didn't realise could register then submit evidence later. Will do so today.
all a bit silly really.
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j-st
post Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 20:37
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submitted appeal and date in the diary.
if any pointers on how to appeal to the common sense of the tribunals body then much appreciated.

i will include details of PaybyPhone payment - she used it to pay for parking the day before and 2 days after in barnet (as well as lots of other days). hopefully tribunals will see this as willingness and ability to pay when it's obvious how to do so

i find the frequent references to RingGo quite amazing when I have repeatedly stated the machine, inc references to RingGo were inaccessible, and its clear that there is no indication of this as a means of payment on the signs.

thanks
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j-st
post Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 20:49
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no evidence they've even observed the car for 3 minutes (which seems to be the necessary period according to Brent regs) before slapping a ticket on it.
2mins30 secs from the handheld computer check to a pic with a ticket on it.
worth highlighting in my appeal?

edit: and contradictions: "10:13-10:16" on PCN, "10:13-10:17" on rejection.

This post has been edited by j-st: Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 20:52
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j-st
post Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 08:57
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Letter from London Tribunals - I presume this means they've dropped the PCN?!
sneaky - almost as if they knew they didn't have a leg to stand on but did everything they could to get me to pay anyway...

thanks for your help!


The Enforcement Authority has informed the Tribunal that it will not contest your appeal against the
Penalty Charge Notice(s) mentioned above.
The adjudicator has therefore allowed your appeal without considering the evidence or any details of
the case. You are not liable for any further charge(s) and, where appropriate, any amounts already
paid will be refunded by the Enforcement Authority.
If you asked for a personal hearing with the adjudicator it is cancelled and you should not attend.


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stamfordman
post Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 09:06
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Yes, as we thought they've finally come to their senses.
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DancingDad
post Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 09:07
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I know I predicted a DNC but this is ridiculously fast.
I can only concur with your thoughts that they played a game of bluff knowing they had not a leg to stand on.
This is the sort of thing that annoys me and keeps me on here offering help.
I don't mind councils enforcing parking, am fully aware that many drivers ignore restrictions and then call foul but can never get my head round councils cynically pushing people to pay when it is obvious to anyone that there is no case to enforce.
Sorry, rant over, well done for sticking with it, many cave which is one reason councils push it to the limit.
The other is ineptitude though to apply that in this case assumes that the reviewing council officers were Dumb and Dumber.

If you want to put the boot in, apply to LT for costs, if enforcing on this PCN is not wholly unreasonable, I am not sure what is.
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j-st
post Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 09:21
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 10:07) *
I know I predicted a DNC but this is ridiculously fast.
I can only concur with your thoughts that they played a game of bluff knowing they had not a leg to stand on.
This is the sort of thing that annoys me and keeps me on here offering help.


absolutely, I hadn't even submitted any additional evidence as part of the appeal...
thanks for your help

QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 10:07) *
If you want to put the boot in, apply to LT for costs, if enforcing on this PCN is not wholly unreasonable, I am not sure what is.


tempted to... though not sure re evidence though - effectively the only "cost" is my time (and frustration, slight distress etc).
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hcandersen
post Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 10:40
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almost as if they knew they didn't have a leg to stand on but did everything they could to get me to pay anyway...


"You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment" biggrin.gif

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Incandescent
post Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 13:10
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 11:40) *
almost as if they knew they didn't have a leg to stand on but did everything they could to get me to pay anyway...


"You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment" biggrin.gif

It's called "gaming the system", and far too many councils are playing it.
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cp8759
post Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 23:31
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QUOTE (j-st @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 10:21) *
absolutely, I hadn't even submitted any additional evidence as part of the appeal...

This is what you must highlight in your costs application. Claim four hours at £19 per hour, total £72. Post a draft of your application here before sending it to the tribunal but don't delay, you only have 14 days from the date of the decision.


--------------------
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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DancingDad
post Sat, 13 Oct 2018 - 08:58
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 13 Oct 2018 - 00:31) *
QUOTE (j-st @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 10:21) *
absolutely, I hadn't even submitted any additional evidence as part of the appeal...

This is what you must highlight in your costs application. Claim four hours at £19 per hour, total £72. Post a draft of your application here before sending it to the tribunal but don't delay, you only have 14 days from the date of the decision.

Use the DNC as a lever, For the council to DNC when the only change to anything submitted was to register an appeal begs the question why did they not cancel at an earlier stage, the defence, ie that the payment machine was totally inaccessible, has not changed.
If the defence is strong enough to cancel without any ado at appeal stage it was surely strong enough to cancel at Formal, Notice to Owner and Informal stages. For the council to pursue then cancel when faced with an adjudicator looking at the case is evidence that they have acted wholly unreasonably in serving and pursuing this PCN.
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