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PCN- Ticket fell off the windscreen
Riwongo
post Thu, 30 Mar 2017 - 21:34
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Good evening all

I wonder if you can advice me on how to proceed with my case.
On 23 March I parked at a council park at 7.47am, paid £3.50 to purchase a ticket whcich I then stuck to my windscreen before leaving the car. On arrival at around 5pm that evening, I found a PCN attached to my windscreen for not having/displaying a valid ticket. The ticket had fallen off the windscreen and clearly the officer had not looked for it as it was visible on the floor of the car. Anyway wrote to the Council by email on 26 March at 11.19pm asking them to cancel the fine as I had purchased and displayed a ticket and I attached a copy of that ticket as evidence. They wrote back very quickly the next day at 11am refusing to cancel the ticket. I am very annoyed because no reasonable person would park a vehicle for over 8hours and not buy and display a valid tickket in any car park! Especially where the rate is as low as £3.50 for the whole day. I would like to pursue this matter if possible but just not sure how to move on from here. Any help woul dbe most appreciated.
I have copied and pasted correspondence between the council and I below and have uploaded the PCN. Look forward to your help. Thanks


My email to the Council sent on 26 March at 11.19pm

“I returned to my vehicle on 23 March 2017 around 5pm and was shocked to find a penalty charge notice stuck to my windscreen.
I would like to make representations against that penalty charge served upon me.
I drove into the car park around 7.30am on 23 March 2017 and purchased a parking ticket which I displayed on my windscreen.
Enclosed is a copy of the Pay & Display ticket that I purchased and displayed for inspection. It can clearly be seen that I paid for the ticket at 7.47am; I paid the appropriate fee and displayed the ticket by sticking it on to my windscreen before I left my car. You will see that the ticket was valid until 18.00hrs and thus valid when your officer inspected my vehicle at 13.05hrs.
Unfortunately, It would appear at some point during my absence from the vehicle, the ticket somehow became dislodged from where it had been clearly displayed and fell into the foot well which caused your officer not to see it and thus issue the PCN. I don’t know how the ticket fell off and can only put it down to the damp blustery weather as I noticed on my return to the car that other old tickets left on my dashboard had been flipped over. I took reasonable steps to abide by the law by ensuring I purchased and displayed the ticket on my windscreen before leaving and the evidence is attached.
In addition I am aware that there are CCTVs in the car park one of which is directly facing over the parking meters which would substantiate my assertions.
May I therefore ask you in light of the above to please consider using your discretionary powers under paragraph 85 to cancel this PCN for the reasons already stated above.
May I also point out that the PCN I received does not tell me how to appeal or make representations just how to pay the PCN and I do not think this is correct? Should this matter go to appeal/adjudication I will be highlighting this. May I at this point request a copy of the car park CCTV on 23 March 2017 between 7am and 8am?

Response from the council via email on 27 March at 11.12am


Thank you for writing to us. We have carefully considered what you say but we have decided not to cancel your Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). You were given a PCN for not having a Pay & Display ticket that was both valid and clearly displayed. Even if you have a Pay & Display ticket, you have to display it so that a CEO can see all its details. Before giving PCNs, our Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO)s check for any parking items displayed and record the details. The CEO saw no Pay & Display ticket. This can happen, for example, when people forget to display Pay & Display tickets or when Pay & Display tickets fall off windscreens. It is unfortunate if this happened with you, but a Pay & Display ticket is only valid if it is displayed so that a CEO can see all its details. Whilst I understand your points raised, On this occasion, the CEO has recorded that no Pay & Display ticket was seen on display in the vehicle and no driver was seen at the ticket machines; therefore the vehicle was seen to be in contravention and a PCN was then issued, I have forwarded your request for Freedom of Information (FOI) with regards to the CCTV, however I am therefore satisfied there are no grounds in which to cancel the charge. You can view photographic evidence of your case online at www.merton.gov.uk/pcn You have these choices: • You can pay the discount charge of £30.00 if your payment reaches us within 14 days of the date of this letter. • If you miss the discounted period you can pay the full charge of £60.00 within 28 days of this letter. • You can formally challenge your PCN by using a Notice to Owner form. The vehicle's owner will automatically receive the form if the PCN has not been paid within 28 days of this letter. The form offers you the chance to formally challenge your PCN or pay the full £60.00. If you decide to formally challenge your PCN, please do not write to us again but wait until the Notice to Owner form arrives. Please note: Should you write back in to the council before the Notice to Owner, the discounted period will not be placed on hold or reoffered. How to pay • Online at www.merton.gov.uk/pay. • By phone 020 8545 3518 (24 hours).

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post Thu, 30 Mar 2017 - 21:34
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Riwongo
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 12:04
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Afternoon all

My appeal is tomorrow, any advice please? or just wish me good luck!
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stamfordman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 12:13
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Make sure all the points are covered if the adj doesn't allow it to start with.

Natural justice is on your side - but good luck.
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hcandersen
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 12:45
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OP, where is the authority's case summary and extract from the order regulating the car park. And your appeal please.

We must see these!

This post has been edited by hcandersen: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 12:45
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spaceman
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 14:23
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QUOTE (Riwongo @ Mon, 29 May 2017 - 17:26) *
Also although the ticket is not time stamped as you say it does show a time of purchase of 7.47 am and expiry of 18.00hrs

This is irrelevant. The alleged contravention is that the ticket was not on display at the time the pcn was served. That the OP purchased a ticket in a timeframe fitting with their version of events is of evidentiary value. It appears to be evidence the authority are not prepared to accept at this stage.
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Riwongo
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 22:33
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_20170913_231855 by Ri Wongo, on Flickr

Apologies for the delay in posting the case summary.

Re extract from the order regulating the car park I have a 10 page document titled Traffic Management Order is this what you mean as I wont be able to upload 10 pages of this document?
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Riwongo
post Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 23:15
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DSC_0173 by Ri Wongo, on Flickr

DSC_0174 by Ri Wongo, on Flickr

@hcandersen - are these the docs you are talking about?
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stamfordman
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 07:01
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When challenging the 'no grounds to cancel the PCN' you could also mention, as I quoted earlier, that they do so in the case of pay by phone for the wrong car, which is an equivalent ground in my view. Payment has been made either by ticket (your case) or by phone.

The key points are that they are blaming you for the failure of their own affixing mechanism despite their 'tests', and that they appear to have accepted you had a valid ticket yet continued to enforce the PCN.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 07:09
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hcandersen
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 07:04
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OP, the issues as regards the contravention are:

Where and how should a ticket be displayed. This is in the order but you've not posted it. Read their contents list, this should refer to the specific article in the order;
Did the ticket fail because of your negligence or the inadequacy of their ticket. They have inteoduced NEW evidence to this effect, item J, but you've not posted it. You must attack this. For example, does it clearly refer to the ticket batch in the machine which you used. Is there any evidence that it is even from the same supplier. Under what control conditions was this 'experiment' carried out. Covering what range of ambient climatic conditions? I've no idea, I've not seen it. But you can see that the authority rely on this.

This post has been edited by hcandersen: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 07:04
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Riwongo
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 10:08
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@Hcandersen I agree your comments re the test and I have listed arguments against that. I will review the order again. BRB hopefully. Thanks
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Riwongo
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 12:55
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All, very sorry to say I lost the appeal. I think the judge had his mind made up before I got into the room. His name is Carl Teper. I was seen earlier than scheduled becuase I had arrived early, I had no problems with that. As soon as we went through the preliminaries i.e. my name, address etc. He established what time I had parked my car and what time the ticket was issued which he said was about 4 hours aster I had parked the car, his first question to me was would i say that my ticket was clearly displayed when the officer approached my vehicle? I said at the time I left my vehicle I would say yes, he then said that is not what I am asking you in a rather harsh manner and I guess I knew at that point that I would not win. The Judge said he had read my case, that I had had a long time to pay the fine, I could have paid £30 if I had paid the fine in time , why did I think I now did not need to pay the fine and why do I think he should find in my favour. He said that the LA accepted that I bought a ticket , how ever what is in dispute is that the ticket was not clearly displayed and he made a point of the word "clearly". So I explained that I had parked as I normally do on my way to work, bought the ticket and peeled it off and stuck it on the windscreen as per instructions on the ticket. I had then left for the day and on arrival the ticket had fallen to the footwell. I said I had stuck the ticket on as directed and could not explain why it had falled off. He then said that the council had tested the strength of their adhesive nd found that to be in order and so he coud not see why ithad fallen off. I told him there were limitations to their test, they didnt test it under wet/rainy conditions or extreem heat. I said the weather wasnot great on the day in question and as a result I had made sure I stuck the ticket on properly before I left. He asked for for the ticket so that he could judge the stickiness of the adhesive. I told him I hadn't brought it as I didn't think I needed it because I had uploaded the evidence. He said I didn't need to bring it but he could have checked the stickiness of I did. I couldn't beleive I was hearing this. For ticket bought inMarch 2017 he wanted to test the stickiness in September 2017??. Anyway on seeing the photo of the ticket in the foot of the car, he asked me whether I thought the ticket at the bottom of the car was "clearly" displayed and I had to say no but that if they had looked inside the vehicle and not around it on the outside they would have seen the ticket. I spoke about the fact that they had not given regards to para 85 -he told me there is no proof of that as they had state in their letter that they had considered the case and would not waive the penalty. I told him that I had followed the councils instructions and stuck the ticket on and shoull dnot be held responsible for it falling off. He said that it is possible that I had not stuck it on correctly becuase I had said I was rushing to work as normal and that perharps becuase it was routine I had failed to pay attention to sticking the ticket on. I rejected that very strongly. He said that knowing that tickets do fall off the screen I should have taken extra precautions like affixing something else to hold the ticket in place and that I hadn't done that. This was in response to my comment that tickets have been known to fall off the screen due to inclement weather and not as a result of the careleesness of the customer. He just didn't give me a chance. I could not even get to argue the point about people paying by phone etc. he said the council are within the rights and he finds that a contravention did occur. he could not see any way he could agree that the adhesive failed and so on those basis his decision is that there has been a contravention and I now needed to pay the fine. I then was about to ask whether he had considered my poin under para 85 etc he said he has made his decision and nothing I said would change his mind. I swear that If I didnot know any better, I would suggest he was offended that I was there appealing this fine in the first place!!!. So sadly everyone Merton Council have won again. Now that they have introduced this new evidence of testing their adhesive, it will be doubly difficult to challenge. Thank you for your help.
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Riwongo
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 13:15
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PS The council's test exercise was underatken between 25/5/17 - 2 June and the purpose of the test was to test the strenght of the adhesive, test range" was a random cross section of machnes including busy locations, where ticket stock is regularly replaced and quieter locations where ticket stock is replaced infrequently and therefore older". The findings are that all tickets remained affixed to the screen for the duration of the day and in some cases longer. No tickets fell off and all tickets tested had to be manually removed by the respective technical officer at the end of the test. Conclusions reached is that providing the ticket has been affixed in a suitable manner the adhesive supplied with the ticket is sufficient enough to stay in place for the maximum parking duration. The Judge was very much satisfied with this and didnt consider my comments carried sufficient weight to change his decision.
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stamfordman
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 13:24
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This is silly. The de facto case is that yours fell off and you bothered to turn up to say so. I can only conclude that Mr Teper found you to be incompetent. I would be asking for a review of this.

I'm sorry you weren't able to explore the other grounds. Merton deserves to be shamed. Try also a local paper to say Merton is refusing to exercise government fairness policy for honest citizens.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 13:47
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Riwongo
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 15:05
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Well he definitely found something he didn't like.....maybe i overchallenged him?/ said things he didn't like?....who knows? He certainly didn't accept anything i had to say that much was clear. His questions to me were more about picking holes in everything I said and justifying the council's stance...I might be wrong but that is certainly how it came across -not impartial event though he told me he was impartial and does not work for the local authority.I was there for less than 30mins, it was the coldes judgement I have ever experienced, even Judge Judge is pleasant compared to him! I thought about a review but I haven't got the grounds based on the criteria. I would like to see his narrative though. All I can say for definite is that his mind was pretty made up and so his comments substantaited this to me. It isn't about the money as you know.....as Mr Teper himself said I have had 6 months of not paying it....it is the principle and it is wrong. The council's tests should apply to cases from May not before then in my view......ludicrous really.
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PASTMYBEST
post Thu, 14 Sep 2017 - 16:13
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QUOTE
. I then was about to ask whether he had considered my poin under para 85 etc he said he has made his decision and nothing I said would change his mind


if this bit is correct then you have a ground for review under the interests of justice require it. You have not had a fair hearing
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