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Another Northern Rail "Penalty Parking Notice"
NotEve
post Tue, 24 Apr 2018 - 19:30
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Hi Everyone, someone i know of received as the title suggests, a "Penalty Parking Notice" from Northern Rail. This was for "not parked in a MARKED BAY (3)".

To remove any ambiguity, I have (hopefully) attached an obfuscated photograph of said ticket. From what I can tell, there is no third party operator involved. Just Northern Rail and the Bye-laws.

I know there have been several topics around this here and elsewhere, and I've read several of them but I am still unsure how to proceed. Here is the story.

Today the driver parked in their usual train station car park. Although they arrived at their usual time, it was unusually full. They had no choice but to park at the end of a row of bays. They know where they parked not to be an obstruction as they have parked in the row of spaces perpendicular to where they parked today (and indeed, drivers park here every day for as long as theyhave used the car park) and they know it does not obstruct any cars entering or exiting the park. They drive around the cars parked where they parked today on a daily basis without issue.

They have an annual season ticket holder which entitles them to park at no extra cost. Other car park users must use the ticket machine. They are not aware of anywhere else to park safely in the surrounding area outside the Station grounds. There was nothing they could have done and they had to get to work.

Is it worth appealing? Is there any way they can reasonably argue this ticket? Or is it just one of those things they'll have to pay? It's not like they do not admit that the parked outside a Marked bay, but they did not believe that this was something they couldn't do as other users park exactly where they did and in another 5 similar "spaces" at the end of each row of bays every day. They feel that given they didn't cause an obstruction and had no choice to park where they did and that their parking is already paid for in the £1,300 annual season ticket they purchase, that they can't find a way to justify paying them another £50 for the lack of facilities being available to them.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

This post has been edited by southpaw82: Wed, 13 Jun 2018 - 19:51
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post Tue, 24 Apr 2018 - 19:30
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emergencychimp
post Tue, 24 Apr 2018 - 19:45
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Edit your post. Do not identify the driver. 'The driver parked' e.t.c.
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mdann52
post Tue, 24 Apr 2018 - 20:00
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This is Northern, and they can (and I believe do) prosecute. As long as others cannot spot obvious flaws, the £50 (essentially a "bribe" to prevent further action) may well be the easiest way to get out of this - As this is Northern dealing with it directly, under the Railway Bylaws this can well go to Magistrates court, and would lead to a criminal record.

If there are wider issues with the parking, it may well be worth an appeal as a first time offence and as a regular user of the car park - I'm not sure how likely they are to reoffer the discount under these circumstances however
I would still hold off a few days (as presuming you are well within the timescales) for others to comment, however this isn't likely to be covered by the usual defences here.

This post has been edited by mdann52: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 - 20:02
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Gary Bloke
post Tue, 24 Apr 2018 - 20:14
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Edit your picture to remove the VRN at the bottom.
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NotEve
post Tue, 24 Apr 2018 - 20:38
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QUOTE (mdann52 @ Tue, 24 Apr 2018 - 21:00) *
This is Northern, and they can (and I believe do) prosecute. As long as others cannot spot obvious flaws, the £50 (essentially a "bribe" to prevent further action) may well be the easiest way to get out of this - As this is Northern dealing with it directly, under the Railway Bylaws this can well go to Magistrates court, and would lead to a criminal record.

If there are wider issues with the parking, it may well be worth an appeal as a first time offence and as a regular user of the car park - I'm not sure how likely they are to reoffer the discount under these circumstances however
I would still hold off a few days (as presuming you are well within the timescales) for others to comment, however this isn't likely to be covered by the usual defences here.



Thanks for the response. It was today this happened and it is a first offence for the driver. They're not in a rush but wont let this matter escalate.

Also thanks for the tips of editing. This has hopefully been satisfied.

This post has been edited by NotEve: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 - 20:58
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NotEve
post Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 06:37
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I've checked the signs today on behalf of the driver. There are 2 of these but nothing else. There are no mentions of bylaws, marked bays, authorised or unauthorised areas nor penalties outside of not having a ticket.

If the driver believed they could park where they parked and there were no signs to the contrary, surely this is grounds for appeal? Appealing of course identifies the driver. Is that problem given that if they were to pay, they'd have been identified during that process anyway?

This post has been edited by NotEve: Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 06:39
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The Rookie
post Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 07:25
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If they don't ask you to park in a marked bay then there can exist no requirement to park in one.

The byelaws do not say you have to park in a parked bay, they do say you you to comply with the instructions of the operator, as the operator hasn't (doesn't appear to) have put up signs instructing you to park in a marked bay then its not a byelaw offence.

I would be awaiting the notice sent to the keeper and then appealing on that sole point, no contravention of byelaws.

Byelaws number 14
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/go...way-byelaws.pdf


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Redivi
post Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 08:33
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Is that really all that's displayed ?

See Byelaw 24(4)
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NotEve
post Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 09:46
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 08:25) *
If they don't ask you to park in a marked bay then there can exist no requirement to park in one.

The byelaws do not say you have to park in a parked bay, they do say you you to comply with the instructions of the operator, as the operator hasn't (doesn't appear to) have put up signs instructing you to park in a marked bay then its not a byelaw offence.

I would be awaiting the notice sent to the keeper and then appealing on that sole point, no contravention of byelaws.

Byelaws number 14
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/go...way-byelaws.pdf


Thanks. So it's better not to appeal until they pursue it further?

QUOTE (Redivi @ Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 09:33) *
Is that really all that's displayed ?

See Byelaw 24(4)



Yes. There is a second identical sign that has a small sign underneath advising of a second car park location and a "have you paid and displayed" sign. I didn't upload the second sign due to my size quota.
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 10:10
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You appeal AFTER they send the NtK, assuming they send one.

Dont use the forum space, as the sticky on the front page tells you. Its too limited. For further docuemtns use TINYPICS or similar.
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The Rookie
post Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 10:16
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QUOTE (NotEve @ Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 10:46) *
Thanks. So it's better not to appeal until they pursue it further?

Yup, they have 6 months to bring a case for a byelaw offence, so waiting a postal notice to the registered keeper wastes at least a month of that.

Plus they can only take action against the driver, appeal now and they can infer you were the driver.

If its a lease/hire/rental car where you may incur admin charges we instead advice appealing as late as possible within the time frame as the aim is to keep playing communication tennis to get past 6 months.

My first line would probably be to ask which Byelaw was breached a sparking outside a marked bay isn't a byelaw offence, later on you can ask where the byelaw sign is and also how outside a bay becomes a byelaw offence, they will have the opportunity to dig a large hole for themselves.


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NotEve
post Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 16:21
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Super, thanks everyone; You've been a great help. I'll pass this info along, once doing a final check of the signage just to be entirely sure.
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NotEve
post Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 18:14
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Ok under further scrutiny, I can confirm that there are indeed more signs, but to be honest, I still think there are a few issues here.

Please see the below layout of the carpark. Blue is the disabled area, green is the carpark in question and red is parking for the college. The yellow represents the unmarked bays that cars park in daily. These do not cause an obstruction.

The orange stars represent the position of the first sign I posted yesterday and an identical one near the ticket machine.



The darker blue star represents the sign pictured below. Its not in the carpark. It is above head height when stood upright on the ground.




The light blue star represents this sign which I assume is the same as the previous sign. Hard to say really.



The one that you can read, if you can find it and stand on your tip toes, suggests we must park in marked bays or authorised areas. Does that mean there are unauthorised areas? How are they identified?
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anon45
post Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 19:27
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It's vitally important not to identify, or even hint at the identity of the driver in any appeal, so choose words with care in any representations to Northern.

As the OP will doubtless have seen from the other threads he/she has read, Northern Rail do prosecute if their ransom demand is not paid, notwithstanding that the £50 self-described "Penalty" (the ransom demanded not to prosecute) is almost certainly unenforceable either at civil law, or under the supposed 'owner liable to penalty' provision in byelaw 14(4)(i).

In theory at least, it should be for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the OP was driving. Magistrates Association guidance, itself based on case law, suggests that simply being the RK is insufficient on its own to prove the RK was driving; indeed, if simply being the RK was sufficient, in the absence of an alternative driver nomination by the RK, to prove that the defendant committed the offence, then there would have been little need for Parliament to have enacted section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (which, in relation to an allegation that a driver of a vehicle committed a motoring offence, requires the RK of the vehicle to name the driver).

In this specific case, there may also be a defence that the parking was not 'contrary to instructions', although I tend to suspect that a typical magistrate would reject it.

However, there has been at least one case on this forum where an OP (rsooty), having refused to pay the ransom demanded not to prosecute, was convicted in these circumstances despite a NG plea, and despite Northern producing absolutely no evidence at all that the defendant personally committed the offence. If the magistrates have already twisted the burden of proof to hold that the RK must have been driving, then they are likely also to twist their interpretation of the signage in order to hold that the offence was complete (albeit that byelaw offences do not create 'criminal records').

Ultimately, the OP has to decide how much risk he or she is prepared to take and how much effort he or she is prepared to put in to fight a prosecution, given that it is unlikely that Northern will cancel their ransom demand. It is arguable that Northern Rail's actions in threatening to prosecute RKs (despite having no evidence at all that the RK committed the alleged offence) and then demanding ransoms not to prosecute is an aggressive commercial practice, and, if so, they would be the ones committing the criminal offence, but this is of little practical use unless someone, preferably someone with extensive legal training and deep pockets, brings a civil claim or private prosecution against Northern (this course of action is not recommended for the layman). If the OP is not prepared to 'have his/ her day in court' and even to consider appealing to Crown Court if necessary, then he/she should probably seriously consider paying the ransom demanded.

Most TOCs and PPCs do not actually prosecute if their ransom demands/ fake byelaw 14 penalties are not paid, and in those cases the normal advice is to stall for time in various challenges in order to get past the 6 month time limit to bring a prosecution of this nature. However, with Northern, who do prosecute some, and perhaps most, RKs who refuse to pay their ransoms, I am not convinced that this is likely to do anything other than cause Northern to inflate their ransom demand to £100, and then, in a subsequent prosecution, to use the correspondence to try to draw the inference that the RK was driving.

This is a fightback forum, and personally, I would love to see an OP defeat Northern in court, but, on the other hand, it is easy for me to be 'militant' when it is not me who would have to face the time, stress and hassle of facing a prosecution, nor me who would have to pay the (perhaps) £600+ fine and related costs if convicted. The OP should be mindful of this when considering this, and indeed when considering other advice from other posters.

This post has been edited by anon45: Wed, 25 Apr 2018 - 19:40
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NotEve
post Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 08:23
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

The driver has absorbed all the information here and has decided the following:

They feel it was not sufficiently clear that parking in the location parked was against any bylaws.

That they do not wish the time and stress of going to court to right this and win on a technicality that the driver's identity can not be proven. Particularly given there has been a lot of time and stress at work recently.

That said, they don't want to pay up without at least appealing.

Please could anyone help formulate an appeal response given the information provided? I could probably write the bulk of it on behalf of the driver though I'd struggle with the advice of not identifying the driver, particularly since the ticket itself seems to suggest this is salient information to include in the appeal.

Please could someone give some tips around the semantics?
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ostell
post Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 08:42
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As saif previously you wait until the Notice to Keeper arrives. You query this towards the end of the time for appeals, asking questions. You continue this ping pong for 6 months until they cannot bring the case to the magistrates.
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NotEve
post Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 09:13
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QUOTE (ostell @ Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 09:42) *
As saif previously you wait until the Notice to Keeper arrives. You query this towards the end of the time for appeals, asking questions. You continue this ping pong for 6 months until they cannot bring the case to the magistrates.


Thanks. I understand this. But the registered keeper is unsure how that response would be worded in such a way as does not identify he driver.
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ostell
post Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 10:10
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But you wait until you get the Notice to Keeper and then you have a valid reason to contact them as the keeper, or you say the driver has handed you the PCN
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 10:19
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QUOTE (NotEve @ Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 10:13) *
QUOTE (ostell @ Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 09:42) *
As saif previously you wait until the Notice to Keeper arrives. You query this towards the end of the time for appeals, asking questions. You continue this ping pong for 6 months until they cannot bring the case to the magistrates.


Thanks. I understand this. But the registered keeper is unsure how that response would be worded in such a way as does not identify he driver.

ITs really not difficult to do. Just dont name the driver. IF, and we DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THIS, the driver and keeper are the same, then still dont name the driver, and dont use any personal pronouns such as "i parked"

If in doubt, post it here first

I really dont get why this is so tricky...
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NotEve
post Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 10:28
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QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 11:19) *
I really dont get why this is so tricky...


Essentially, you're all subject matter experts talking to someone who has literally no experience of the subject other than what is posted here. Forgive me for asking advice.on semantics, but please remember, not everyone has the same experiences you have.

This is a daunting matter which carries with it risk. It would be prudent to cover all bases.

This post has been edited by NotEve: Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 10:29
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