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PCN for suspended resident parking, Greenwich
ls179
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 20:18
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Hello all,

I received a PCN today whilst parked in a resident's parking spot with a valid permit. The car was parked here late on Sunday 11th Feb in the dark, and I didn't see the suspension notice if it was displayed. The car hasn't been used since. Today (14th) I received a parking fine for being in a suspended space.

PCN:



I'm thinking that there are two options for mounting a defence, but would appreciate the expert opinion of this forum.

1. Invalid/unauthorised notice
I'm not convinced that the notice was displayed when I parked, but can't prove this. Is it valid/authorised?


2. No breach of the suspension
The notice states that the suspension is only for three spaces opposite houses 50-54. This is very vague given that there are no individual spaces marked, and I am convinced that there was space for three cars to be parked behind mine:

My car is the grey fiesta. I've marked the boundaries of the houses. Also note how far away from the car is from the suspension notice, and how there is room for three vehicles behind mine (including the white car which did not appear to have a fine)


Alternative angle showing a third/fourth space behind the white car and opposite house 50 (although the perspective from this angle makes it look like I am parked in front of 54 rather than 56)



Do you think there is a case to be had here, or shall I resign myself to paying the reduced fare?

Thanks in advance!

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post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 20:18
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Mad Mick V
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 20:40
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Well the Council is in the clag because it does not have a DfT approved suspension sign and the sign they have posted is of their own concoction.

In my view they will have difficulty in enforcing this one.

Mick
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John U.K.
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 20:46
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Are these your pics or the Council's?

You would be better taking a 'square-on' screenshot from here
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/56+Gree...33;4d-0.0136712

and indicationg on where your car is.

As far as I can see, the lamp-post is more-or-less on the boundary between 54 and 56.
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ls179
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 21:01
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QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 20:40) *
In my view they will have difficulty in enforcing this one.


Thanks, that's promising to hear. Do you have a link to the relevant legislation?


QUOTE (John U.K. @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 20:46) *
Are these your pics or the Council's?

You would be better taking a 'square-on' screenshot from here
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/56+Gree...33;4d-0.0136712

and indicationg on where your car is.

As far as I can see, the lamp-post is more-or-less on the boundary between 54 and 56.

I've found a photo my girlfriend took earlier which shows a more square-on view. Maybe not the best to include though as it shows the car straddling both properties, although I still think there are at least three spaces behind it that are within the 50-54 boundaries. Thoughts?


EDIT: forgot to add photo

This also shows clearly that the suspension notice was some distance from the car (off to the right of the photo), and easy to miss when walking from the car in the other direction...

This post has been edited by ls179: Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 21:00
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stamfordman
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 21:12
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Shame you didn't park in the end of the bay (always worth doing in any case).

See if there are any pics on Greenwich's site.
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ls179
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 21:20
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Agreed, was silly not to pull forward, but it was dark and late at the end of a long drive.

I should add, all the photos are mine, not the council's. Not sure what you mean by looking for pictures on Greenwich's site?
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stamfordman
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 21:31
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A lot fo councils have online pics - not sure about Greenwich.

Try:

https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/site/xfp/...amp;language=en

and

https://www.viewmypcn.co.uk
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ls179
post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 22:11
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 21:31) *
A lot fo councils have online pics - not sure about Greenwich.

Try:

https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/site/xfp/...amp;language=en

and

https://www.viewmypcn.co.uk


Thanks, nothing that I can find on either of those
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cp8759
post Thu, 15 Feb 2018 - 00:38
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QUOTE (ls179 @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 21:01) *
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 - 20:40) *
In my view they will have difficulty in enforcing this one.

Thanks, that's promising to hear. Do you have a link to the relevant legislation?

It's section 64 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/27/section/64) which provides that all traffic signs must be authorised, either by regulations or by Department for Transport authorisation. The general regulations are the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/362/contents/made), but there is no suspension sign under the regulations. DFT authorisations for the Borough of Greenwich can be found here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/traffic-auths/?search=greenwich
I haven't checked every one but none appear to relate to parking suspensions. There have been appeals to London Tribunals which have succeed because the suspension sign was not authorised, I'm sure some someone will dig up the case numbers.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Thu, 15 Feb 2018 - 09:10


--------------------
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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Mad Mick V
post Thu, 15 Feb 2018 - 08:15
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I would probably use this one from Newham:-

2150485834

The temporary waiting restriction relied on by the Council as the basis of the contravention creates the contravention only where there are displayed traffic signs in accordance with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002. The sign shown in the CEO's photographs is not a sign which complies even substantially with any in the TSRGD, and appears to be a sign of the Council's own invention. In the absence of authorisation by the Secretary of State parking in breach of its indication is not a contravention and the Appeal must therefore be allowed.
______________________________________

Now the difficulty with this ground is that the Council will probably not give way, so the OP must be prepared to take the case to adjudication. Indeed it would be preferable to offer other grounds as well so the Council may choose to accept something else rather than confronting the "elephant in the room".

Mick
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cp8759
post Thu, 15 Feb 2018 - 09:33
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QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Thu, 15 Feb 2018 - 08:15) *
Now the difficulty with this ground is that the Council will probably not give way, so the OP must be prepared to take the case to adjudication. Indeed it would be preferable to offer other grounds as well so the Council may choose to accept something else rather than confronting the "elephant in the room".

I don't disagree, but I also struggle to see any ground of appeal that doesn't amount to "the council messed up" (I also don't see the council accepting "it was dark and raining and I didn't see the sign, please exercise discretion to cancel"). On the other hand, as the sign isn't remotely similar to anything in the TSRGD, and Greenwich doesn't appear to have any authorisation, not even an expired one, for a suspension sign, this should be a clear cut win at adjudication.

ls179, note the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 have been repealed, so in your representations you need to reference the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016. Basically your grounds for representations are that the sign the council has used is not substantially complaint (use this exact expression) with any of the signs authorised under the regulations, and therefore the alleged contravention did not occur.


--------------------
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 Thu, 15 Feb 2018 - 16:28
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this one is very similar

2160181417

This PCN was issued for the alleged contravention of being parked wholly or partly in a suspended bay or space in Kensington Avenue at 8.54am on 27 May 2015.
I have looked at the suspension notice in the CEO's images which suspended 3 car parking spaces outside Nos 126 to 130 Kensington Avenue for 2 days from 27 to 28 May 2015.
Mr Rao appeals because he says that his car was outside No 130 and well behind the 3 car parking spaces referred to in the suspension notice. The images submitted by the Council appear to show that the front of the car was across the frontage of No 130.
I am not satisfied that the alleged contravention occurred or that the signage of the suspension was adequate. It is impossible for me to see the exact measure of 3 car park spaces or to know whether or not Mr Rao's vehicle was within the suspended spaces.
The measure of the suspended area needs to be precise so that the motorist is in no doubt about where the parking is suspended. In this case, the Council accepts that there is no precise measurement. The Council says in its case summary that, as the size of vehicles varies, the suspension is an estimate of the car spaces. In my view, that is not sufficiently precise to identify the suspended area.
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Mad Mick V
post Thu, 15 Feb 2018 - 19:41
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Thu, 15 Feb 2018 - 09:33) *
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Thu, 15 Feb 2018 - 08:15) *
Now the difficulty with this ground is that the Council will probably not give way, so the OP must be prepared to take the case to adjudication. Indeed it would be preferable to offer other grounds as well so the Council may choose to accept something else rather than confronting the "elephant in the room".

I don't disagree, but I also struggle to see any ground of appeal that doesn't amount to "the council messed up" (I also don't see the council accepting "it was dark and raining and I didn't see the sign, please exercise discretion to cancel"). On the other hand, as the sign isn't remotely similar to anything in the TSRGD, and Greenwich doesn't appear to have any authorisation, not even an expired one, for a suspension sign, this should be a clear cut win at adjudication.

ls179, note the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 have been repealed, so in your representations you need to reference the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016. Basically your grounds for representations are that the sign the council has used is not substantially complaint (use this exact expression) with any of the signs authorised under the regulations, and therefore the alleged contravention did not occur.


The spectre of substantial compliance is always hovering over this type of case. Substantial compliance with what?--you may rightly ask. All you need is a maverick adjudicator and the ground is lost. This one for Greenwich, although successful, illustrates the thought processes of an adjudicator who likes the Herron precedent:-

2170059577

The appellant and her Mother attended the hearing.The issue of the appeal is signage.
Despite the officer's description of the suspension sign the actual evidence of it is poor. This plus the fact that the first number of the house address had fallen off made the whole situation, I find, misleading.
It was held in the case of Oxfordshire County Council and The Bus Lane Adjudicator and Shaun Duffy (2010) that If the signage is prescribed by the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (TSRGD) or if it is authorised by the Secretary of State and it is not placed where it cannot be seen and not obscured, there must be strong reasons for saying the signage does not provide adequate information.
In the Court of Appeal case of R (Herron v The Parking Adjudicator it was held that parking restrictions are imposed by the applicable Traffic Management Order not by the signage and markings. The purpose of the signage required by the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (TSRGD) is to convey to the motorist adequate information to the motorist of the relevant restriction. Therefore substantial compliance with the statutory specification in the TSRGD suffices as long as the signage adequately informs the motorist and does not mislead.
I will therefore allow the appeal.
-------------------------------------------------
IMO you have to have a "statutory" sign before you can even think about substantial compliance--that is what the Judge said in the Herron Judgement so the rationale above can be rebutted.

Mick
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ls179
post Sun, 18 Feb 2018 - 17:35
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Thanks all. We've put in an informal appeal, on the basis of our compliance with the vague requested "three spaces" whilst also putting forward the point that the sign was not substantially compliant with the relevant legislation. Will update with response.
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