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Car Towed Away by Bristol City Council., Advice needed
SpartanSaver
post Thu, 25 Apr 2019 - 15:54
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I work in Bristol's water front once every 6 to 8 weeks. I am contracted by a venue in the water front and the GM of the venue had given me permission to use the car park around the back.

I worked there on Saturday night and when I returned my car was gone (towed away) Apparently 6 weeks ago Bristol City Council had changed the rules of parking on this site : all vehicles need to have parking permits displayed. Unfortunately no one made me aware of this and anyone driving and parking there would fail to see the signs as 1) they are facing the opposite direction from the incoming flow of traffic 2) they are not at driver's eye level 3) they are hard to read (very small print and unlit) 4) they weren't even close to the spot where I parked. Also my car was not obstructing anyone or anything.

I paid £126 on my credit card to get the car released the next day.

My question is, how much of a case do I have here as I have photographic evidence of the signs poor location and visibility ? Has anyone been in a similar situation ? As the signs are virtually undetectable as you park it is unrealistic for a driver to agree to the terms and conditions if he/she hasn't seen them (hence no contract could have been made) ?

Are there any good templates that have been used by members of this forum which helped them in their appeal ?

Any advice would be really appreciated.

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post Thu, 25 Apr 2019 - 15:54
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PASTMYBEST
post Thu, 25 Apr 2019 - 16:12
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Very rare outside London, but the same rules apply. we need to see all of the documents you recieved and all of the council photos, they may be online or you might have to ask for them


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SpartanSaver
post Thu, 25 Apr 2019 - 18:54
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Thanks PasyMyBest.

The only document I have is my receipt from Hinton Garage stating that I paid £126 to them. Shall I ask the council for any evidence that the car was parked illegally before disputing the incident?

I have a draft appeal but I think it is best to get advice from here before submitting anything.

Photo 1 http://www.mediafire.com/view/6hbxu6ruhz4c...431778816_n.jpg

Photo 2 http://www.mediafire.com/view/k2hwwic56pkj...714837504_n.jpg

Photo 3 http://www.mediafire.com/view/wsaad0x052af...732811264_n.jpg

This post has been edited by SpartanSaver: Thu, 25 Apr 2019 - 19:02
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DancingDad
post Thu, 25 Apr 2019 - 19:16
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QUOTE (SpartanSaver @ Thu, 25 Apr 2019 - 19:54) *
Thanks PasyMyBest.

The only document I have is my receipt from Hinton Garage stating that I paid £126 to them. Shall I ask the council for any evidence that the car was parked illegally before disputing the incident?
………...


????
You should have received more then a receipt.
Documents telling you how to challenge for starters ?

And £126 ????
Release fee is £105 plus PCN discount value..... £35 or £25.... so how is the £126 made up ??
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PASTMYBEST
post Thu, 25 Apr 2019 - 19:25
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read regulation 11 here

www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/3482/regulation/11/made


you will have to copy & paste into your browser

we need to know if its a council PCN or a police removal. Documents are all


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SpartanSaver
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 09:06
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Thu, 25 Apr 2019 - 20:16) *
QUOTE (SpartanSaver @ Thu, 25 Apr 2019 - 19:54) *
Thanks PasyMyBest.

The only document I have is my receipt from Hinton Garage stating that I paid £126 to them. Shall I ask the council for any evidence that the car was parked illegally before disputing the incident?
………...


????
You should have received more then a receipt.
Documents telling you how to challenge for starters ?

And £126 ????
Release fee is £105 plus PCN discount value..... £35 or £25.... so how is the £126 made up ??



Yes - I did get a circular saying how to challenge (email and address) - just a very generic and non specific document.

I don't know how it comes to £126. However that is what I paid.
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hcandersen
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 09:08
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OP, we must, must see documents please.
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cp8759
post Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 15:47
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QUOTE (SpartanSaver @ Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 10:06) *
I don't know how it comes to £126. However that is what I paid.

You must have a receipt with some sort of breakdown.


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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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SpartanSaver
post Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 14:50
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 16:47) *
QUOTE (SpartanSaver @ Fri, 26 Apr 2019 - 10:06) *
I don't know how it comes to £126. However that is what I paid.

You must have a receipt with some sort of breakdown.


Hi CP8759

Yes - it is on the release form that I signed. It was £105 for the tow away release and £21 for the fine.

I've uploaded all of the documentation that I have in the following links :

http://www.mediafire.com/view/kfvy6ndpdada...386216448_n.jpg

http://www.mediafire.com/view/6bnr7w67uji5...922012672_n.jpg

They are rather vague. However please let me know what is the best way I can appeal. Any help will be really appreciated.

Thank you
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cp8759
post Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 15:13
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Right, so they have removed the vehicle under the powers provided for by The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2012. In the circumstances, a right to make representations arises under regulation 11 of The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007, so in practice we can treat this as a normal towing case.

Have you not got a copy of the PCN?


--------------------
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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PASTMYBEST
post Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 15:21
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Docks, so a bye law offence not decriminalized parking. You need to find out under what regulation they make the charges


It may well be that the thread needs moving to the private parking or criminal forum


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Mad Mick V
post Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 16:17
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+1

They state it's private land probably owned by the Bristol Dock Company so has the Council any right to tow?

It will be part of the Bristol permitted parking area because the docks are not specifically excluded:-

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/699/note/made

Port byelaws:- https://www.bristolport.co.uk/sites/default...ral-byelaws.pdf

Mick

This post has been edited by Mad Mick V: Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 16:32
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cp8759
post Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 20:42
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They state that the vehicle was removed under the provisions of POFA, POFA did not introduce any new towing powers itself but it did lead to The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2012. However that amendment only gives powers to a police constable, it does not appear to expand the powers available to the council. There's nothing in the bylaws I can see about the removal of vehicles, or the issue of PCNs.

I have a suspicion that the council hasn't got all its ducks in a row on this one, because it is highly unlikely anyone would ever bother challenging them.

In the first instance I'd suggest writing a simple challenge based on the lack of signage, and asking them to specify what legal powers they have used to tow the vehicle and levy the charges, and let's see what they come back with.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 20:52


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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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DancingDad
post Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 21:31
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 16:13) *
Right, so they have removed the vehicle under the powers provided for by The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2012. In the circumstances, a right to make representations arises under regulation 11 of The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007, so in practice we can treat this as a normal towing case.

Have you not got a copy of the PCN?


??
Appeal form says that the vehicle was removed under POFA 2012
POFA amended Acts like the Road Traffic Regulation Act and that would likely devolve into The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles regs.
But POFA provides no legal framework for removal whatsoever.


Sorry, duplicated wot CP is already exploring

This post has been edited by DancingDad: Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 21:32
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Mad Mick V
post Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 06:08
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OP---where exactly did you park--can you provide a GSV position?
Any other documentation at all? Did they not provide the PCN or was it attached to the vehicle?
The Port issues should be followed up but there might be a simpler course of action--as in-- did they actually serve a PCN?
Mick
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DancingDad
post Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 06:42
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Would be useful if we knew which car park please ?
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hcandersen
post Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 09:04
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OP, this is unusual for us and we're outside the normal parking and towing accounts.

With respect to other posters, a council is a multi-headed beast and we do not have sufficient information to know what regulation or bye-law was contravened and upon what powers the council, not the enforcement authority but the council, rely for removal.

It's just as likely to be the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act as anything to do with parking regs.

You must find out, to act otherwise would be premature.

This post has been edited by hcandersen: Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 09:05
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cp8759
post Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 16:25
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 10:04) *
OP, this is unusual for us and we're outside the normal parking and towing accounts.

With respect to other posters, a council is a multi-headed beast and we do not have sufficient information to know what regulation or bye-law was contravened and upon what powers the council, not the enforcement authority but the council, rely for removal.

It's just as likely to be the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act as anything to do with parking regs.

You must find out, to act otherwise would be premature.

Regardless of the powers and regulations involved, the first step is to contact the authority with a basic challenge around signage. Any response is bound to reveal which statutory framework they rely on (though they purport it's something to do with POFA, POFA doesn't appear to have expanded the council's towing powers in relation to illegally parked vehicles). Ultimately if they don't have a statutory power to tow, the removal of the vehicle would be not only unlawful but also a criminal offence on the part of the council, the council officials involved, and the towing contractor.

Deep down I think they may well be winging it, the fact that there isn't even a PCN number is deeply suspicious. I suspect the correct course of action would have been for the council to pursue criminal proceedings under the port bylaws, but of course that approach doesn't make them any money as any fine imposed by the courts is payable to HMCTS rather than the council (and criminal prosecutions are expensive for councils to pursue).

Here's a draft representation:

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

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to contest the penalty charge and towing fees levied in relation to my vehicle bearing VRM (insert number plate here); I enclose the receipt showing I had to pay £126 to secure release of the vehicle.

I should explain that I work in Bristol's water front once every 6 to 8 weeks, I am contracted by a venue in the water front and the General Manager of the venue had given me permission to use the car park around the back.

I worked there on the night of Saturday 21 April and when I returned my car was gone (towed away). I have since learnt that 6 weeks prior to this Bristol City Council had changed the rules of parking on this site: I now understand all vehicles need to have parking permits displayed. Unfortunately no one made me aware of this and anyone driving and parking there would fail to see the signs as 1) they are facing the opposite direction from the incoming flow of traffic 2) they are not at driver's eye level 3) they are hard to read (very small print and unlit) 4) they weren't even close to the spot where I parked. I would add that my car was not obstructing anyone or anything so the decision to tow seems a bit over the top.

As your records will show, I paid £126 on my credit card to get the car released the next day.

Given the above, I hope you will agree to refund the charges in full, for this purpose I confirm any refund should be paid to sort code 00-00-00, account number 00000000.

However should you reject these representations, please could you provide photographic evidence of the contravention. Please could you also confirm what statutory powers, if any, entitled Bristol City Council to:

1) Issue a penalty charge notice for £21.
2) Tow the vehicle away and demand a fee for its release.

I note in particular that nothing in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 provides the council with any additional powers to impose penalty charge notices, let alone any powers to tow vehicles away. I further note that there are no towing powers provided in the port bylaws I have been able to find. I would appreciate any clarification you are able to provide in this regard.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 16:26


--------------------
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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SpartanSaver
post Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 20:34
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 16:13) *
Right, so they have removed the vehicle under the powers provided for by The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2012. In the circumstances, a right to make representations arises under regulation 11 of The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007, so in practice we can treat this as a normal towing case.

Have you not got a copy of the PCN?



Thanks - no I wasn't even given a PCN. I would have expected to find something stuck on my car windscreen or some documentation to come through the post at the very least. Nothing of such nature. It feels like the towing company had nothing better to do that night and decided to tow away my vehicle to kill some time.

QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sun, 28 Apr 2019 - 21:42) *
They state that the vehicle was removed under the provisions of POFA, POFA did not introduce any new towing powers itself but it did lead to The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2012. However that amendment only gives powers to a police constable, it does not appear to expand the powers available to the council. There's nothing in the bylaws I can see about the removal of vehicles, or the issue of PCNs.

I have a suspicion that the council hasn't got all its ducks in a row on this one, because it is highly unlikely anyone would ever bother challenging them.

In the first instance I'd suggest writing a simple challenge based on the lack of signage, and asking them to specify what legal powers they have used to tow the vehicle and levy the charges, and let's see what they come back with.


Thanks CP8759 - this is really useful.
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hcandersen
post Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 20:39
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Don't challenge, enquire.

We don't know what powers were used, so don't go off half-cock. Just find out.

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