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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 Mon, 10 Apr 2017 - 15:40
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Just to confirm that no response has been received from the council yet which is interesting because my first letter which I sent on a Sunday night at 11pm circa was responded to at approx 11am the next day. I guess I am just waiting for the NTO now.
Any comments/advice at this stage will be gladly received.

Many thanks.
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Riwongo
post Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 11:29
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Hi all

Below is the reply from the Council.


"
I refer to your further correspondence relating to the issue of the above Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
I note your comments and can only reiterate the comments made in our reply dated 27/03/2017.
Thank you for your email, I must apologise for not replying to the particular point with regards to you pay & display ticket, I must advise you we do not accept subsequent production of pay & display as this is not evidence of the pay & display ticket being present at time of issue of the PCN, due to not responding to your request in full I have extended the discount period for a further 14 days to allow you the extra time to pay.
It is therefore requested you make settlement of the outstanding £30.00, which expires on the 24/04/2017. If payment is not received by the specified date, the discount will no longer apply and the full charge of £60.00 will be due.
Please note that any further correspondence that is received prior to the Notice to Owner being sent will be filed with no response sent.
As previously advised, if you are unhappy with the decision you should await the Notice to Owner and make a formal representation against the charge. "

Is it me or have they still not clarified the point raised in my letter?

@Hcandersen, what do you think?
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stamfordman
post Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 11:44
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QUOTE (Riwongo @ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 12:29) *
I must advise you we do not accept subsequent production of pay & display as this is not evidence of the pay & display ticket being present at time of issue of the PCN



This is ludicrous. Let's have a look at the ticket - post it here, both sides if text on the back.

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PASTMYBEST
post Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 11:49
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 12:44) *
QUOTE (Riwongo @ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 12:29) *
I must advise you we do not accept subsequent production of pay & display as this is not evidence of the pay & display ticket being present at time of issue of the PCN



This is ludicrous. Let's have a look at the ticket - post it here, both sides if text on the back.


Idiots, trouble is they have nothing to lose in their stance. there is another section of the guidance that talks about giving the benefit of the doubt to the motorist so that sentence is outwith the guidence
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stamfordman
post Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 11:58
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 12:49) *
Idiots, trouble is they have nothing to lose in their stance.


Apart from their reputation and commitment to fair dealing with the public on these matters.


QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 12:49) *
there is another section of the guidance that talks about giving the benefit of the doubt to the motorist so that sentence is outwith the guidence


Exactly.
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Riwongo
post Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 17:35
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Ticket posted.
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Riwongo
post Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 17:49
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I don't actually understand what they mean by the the P & D not being evidence of it being present at the time of issue of the PCN. It doesn't make an awful lot of sense to me.
I would like access to the guidance you speak about @PASTMYBEST if you don't mind.


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PASTMYBEST
post Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 18:04
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QUOTE (Riwongo @ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 18:49) *
I don't actually understand what they mean by the the P & D not being evidence of it being present at the time of issue of the PCN. It doesn't make an awful lot of sense to me.
I would like access to the guidance you speak about @PASTMYBEST if you don't mind.


11.14 An authority must decide what constitutes ‘satisfactory evidence’ and it may be beneficial to give a motorist the benefit of the doubt on the first occasion but question the circumstances more closely if there are any subsequent challenges to a different PCN. Authorities should examine with particular care the alleged circumstances of a challenge that appears to be based on guidance from websites or lobby groups. Enforcement authorities should monitor the numbers of representations and appeals relating to individual locations to identify trends of cases where the motorist has misunderstood or failed to see the signs. An objective review of the signing at the location should be undertaken to ensure that it is clear and conspicuous



https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/syste...al-guidance.pdf
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Riwongo
post Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 18:12
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 19:04) *
QUOTE (Riwongo @ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 18:49) *
I don't actually understand what they mean by the the P & D not being evidence of it being present at the time of issue of the PCN. It doesn't make an awful lot of sense to me.
I would like access to the guidance you speak about @PASTMYBEST if you don't mind.


11.14 An authority must decide what constitutes ‘satisfactory evidence’ and it may be beneficial to give a motorist the benefit of the doubt on the first occasion but question the circumstances more closely if there are any subsequent challenges to a different PCN. Authorities should examine with particular care the alleged circumstances of a challenge that appears to be based on guidance from websites or lobby groups. Enforcement authorities should monitor the numbers of representations and appeals relating to individual locations to identify trends of cases where the motorist has misunderstood or failed to see the signs. An objective review of the signing at the location should be undertaken to ensure that it is clear and conspicuous



https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/syste...al-guidance.pdf


Aha! Got it thanks, will review.

I will definitely appeal because if they are aware of all these rules and regulations and are still refusing to cancel the PCN then it is either they are very sure of themselves or they are just chancing their arms. Either way I don't intend to lose the appeal so all help and advice will be gratefully recieved
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stamfordman
post Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 19:23
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See this story and scroll down to the comments made by the parking campaigner. It involves Merton but no idea if they eventually backed down.

http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/98..._ticket__driver
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Mad Mick V
post Wed, 12 Apr 2017 - 08:22
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My perennial question in cases like this relates to the discriminatory nature of RingGo.

If your vehicle is the only one getting a non-display PCN in a car park full of cars not displaying anything you have a situation where the Council's proportionality may be questioned.

If the off street parking places order stipulates display then RingGo cannot operate IMO.

If the contravention covering both sets of vehicles was non-payment that would be equitable but of course the Council would lose out on its non-display scam if properly purchased tickets were produced as evidence of payment.

So, if this case is heading to adjudication, I would argue that there is discrimination which is exacerbated by the Council's lack of proportionality in both using this contravention and in its complete failure to exercise its discretion because it allows non-display by its RingGo customers.

Mick
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stamfordman
post Wed, 12 Apr 2017 - 09:53
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As a complement to what Mick says, Merton is one of the councils that has a written policy on cancelling PCNs for mistakes with cashless parking. This tells me that there is a gross inconsistency between this and its lack of discretion with a paper ticket that just fell off the windscreen. But in both types of case there is no attempt to evade payment and fairness policy should apply equally.

Here is the cashless policy:

http://www.merton.gov.uk/cashless_parking_...policy_v5.0.pdf

and it will cancel for a first offence for e.g entering the wrong car reg:

"If you have inadvertently paid for the wrong vehicle registration number, but you have paid the correct tariff, we will cancel the first PCN issued. Please note that any subsequent PCNs will be upheld. You must correct the VRM on your account to ensure the same mistake does not happen again."
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Mad Mick V
post Wed, 12 Apr 2017 - 10:21
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Can this "gross inconsistency" be tied up in ribbons and bows and presented as fettered discretion?

Mick
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stamfordman
post Wed, 12 Apr 2017 - 10:43
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QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Wed, 12 Apr 2017 - 11:21) *
Can this "gross inconsistency" be tied up in ribbons and bows and presented as fettered discretion?


Indeed. In fact, the cashless errors are human and made by the parker. In a fallen ticket it can be a mechanical event caused by the council's own poor stickability. It is strange to put more leeway on the former. But regardless both are pay and (non)display events of equal status under fairness.
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hcandersen
post Wed, 12 Apr 2017 - 12:12
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If the authority stipulate that valid display includes affixing to the windscreen or similar and if they provide - effectively specify - the means then the driver has NO liability if they comply but through circumstances beyond their control the means fail. This has been affirmed in numerous adjudication decisions and I have yet to see one which takes the opposite view.

This has nothing to do with discretion or council policy which, as ever, would be trumped by the law.

And no power to issue by virtue of the '10-minute rule'

etc.
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Riwongo
post Thu, 13 Apr 2017 - 13:11
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 20:23) *
See this story and scroll down to the comments made by the parking campaigner. It involves Merton but no idea if they eventually backed down.

http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/98..._ticket__driver



Thank you for this story. I have to say I am not surprised as I have already taken the time to look into Merton and its PCN fines which are among the top highest in the Country. Merton appear to be notorious for not backing down and even winning at tribunal hearings. Perhaps I will be the one to wipe the smile off their faces. I have no doubt that they access this forum which if so will put them at a great advantage as they will have access to all advice given.



QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Wed, 12 Apr 2017 - 09:22) *
My perennial question in cases like this relates to the discriminatory nature of RingGo.

If your vehicle is the only one getting a non-display PCN in a car park full of cars not displaying anything you have a situation where the Council's proportionality may be questioned.

If the off street parking places order stipulates display then RingGo cannot operate IMO.

If the contravention covering both sets of vehicles was non-payment that would be equitable but of course the Council would lose out on its non-display scam if properly purchased tickets were produced as evidence of payment.

So, if this case is heading to adjudication, I would argue that there is discrimination which is exacerbated by the Council's lack of proportionality in both using this contravention and in its complete failure to exercise its discretion because it allows non-display by its RingGo customers.

Mick



Oh gosh, hadn't thought about that re RingO, that is so true!

This is great @Stamfordman, thank you.

QUOTE (hcandersen @ Wed, 12 Apr 2017 - 13:12) *
If the authority stipulate that valid display includes affixing to the windscreen or similar and if they provide - effectively specify - the means then the driver has NO liability if they comply but through circumstances beyond their control the means fail. This has been affirmed in numerous adjudication decisions and I have yet to see one which takes the opposite view.

This has nothing to do with discretion or council policy which, as ever, would be trumped by the law.

And no power to issue by virtue of the '10-minute rule'

etc.



Hmmmm This will go to adjudication. I will start to prepare a draft and post for advice if that's okay. Thank you everyone. Might be interesting to see the result of a freedom of info request on how many PCNs this borough has issued successfully so in the last year in comparison with other boroughs.....

I guess my main concern at this point is what would be my grounds for appeal for taking this matter to adjudication? I have seen examples of the grounds and don't find them appropriate? Any ideas?
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Riwongo
post Thu, 13 Apr 2017 - 13:34
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And here is Merton's income form PCNs et al in 2015/16 as obtained from their website:
Income £
Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) £4,282,095.21
Resident parking permits £1,166,673.00
Visitor parking permits £834,610.00
Business parking permits £232,596.00
Teachers parking permits £34,435.00
On-Street parking charges £2,595,675.00
Other income £324,977.00
Total income £9,471,061.21
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PASTMYBEST
post Thu, 13 Apr 2017 - 13:40
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QUOTE (Riwongo @ Thu, 13 Apr 2017 - 14:34) *
And here is Merton's income form PCNs et al in 2015/16 as obtained from their website:
Income £
Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) £4,282,095.21
Resident parking permits £1,166,673.00
Visitor parking permits £834,610.00
Business parking permits £232,596.00
Teachers parking permits £34,435.00
On-Street parking charges £2,595,675.00
Other income £324,977.00
Total income £9,471,061.21


don't get side tracked, whilst this may be interesting it has no relevance to any appeal
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hcandersen
post Thu, 13 Apr 2017 - 13:44
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Contravention did not occur:
1. I parked and purchased a P&D ticket. I refer the adjudicator to the photo of my ticket.
I also refer the adjudicator to the instructions on the ticket which state:
'Use sticker on back to affix to windscreen'

I complied with these instructions and displayed the ticket on the driver's window. At some stage the sticker became detached from the window and this caused the ticket with sticker attached to fall into my footwell. I submit that as I had complied with the council's instructions then I am not liable for the failure of their adhesive or their choice of means of display, for example had I simply placed the ticket face up on the dashboard then it would have been impossible for this to have fallen into the footwell. (you wouldn't write this part, but should the adj ask why you didn't place it on the windscreen, then the answer is that given the shape of the windscreen(concave), it is easier to get to proper attachment on a plain vertical surface like the window).

2. Having been forced to research this matter in detail following the authority's intransigence, I also ask the adjudicator to find as a fact that the ticket in the photo is a copy of the one attached to the window and that this was in the vehicle when the PCN was served. In this respect, I would submit that the permitted parking period in respect of my car in this case ended at 1800 hrs and that consequently the PCN is void because the authority were prevented from serving a PCN for this contravention until a further period of 10 minutes had elapsed i.e. 1810.

But we're not at adjudication yet.

This post has been edited by hcandersen: Thu, 13 Apr 2017 - 18:32
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Riwongo
post Thu, 13 Apr 2017 - 14:22
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Great stuff thank you @Hcandersen. I know that we are not at adjudication but we will get there because I will not be taking advantage of the discounted offer. Judging from their last correspondence they wont budge so I am waiting for the NTO now.
Rest assured @PASTMYBEST, I am not distracted.just satisfying curiosity.
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