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ULEZ PCN - how to appeal, Received two pcn notices either side of midnight
JThorpe
post Wed, 12 Jun 2019 - 06:56
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Hello,

My wife and I really could do with some help and advice.

We entered London, only just into the ULEZ zone unaware on 11th May. We later receive two PCNs for entering that zone without paying the fee. One PCN for before midnight and the second after midnight on the return journey. The first time we knew about the ULEZ, what it was about, the fee that needs to be paid and that it is 24 hours was the time we first received those PCNs.

We feel very aggrieved about this and the fines are heavy. Because we received two fines, one for going into London before 12 midnight and a second for the return journey just after midnight, we have two fines, £160 each or £80 if paid early (so £160 or £320 as totals). This is heavy. We accept we drove into the zone and having now checked, that our car being a 2014 diesel would not be exempt. However, whilst we are aware of the congestion charge and knew it was the working week during work hours, whilst we knew about the Low emission zone, we never had to worry about it, so the ULEZ meant nothing to us until we did the research after receiving the PCNs.

We live outside London and never travel in by car, on the night of travel, we saw the usual congestion charge signs but do not remember ULEZ signs. We do not doubt they were there and they are noticeable but on the night we didn’t notice and certainly didn’t think it meant late on a Saturday night we had to pay a fee, twice for each side of midnight. Having now looked at the signs, there is no indication of a charge on the sign. In addition to any signage failings we think the awareness campaign for non Londoners cannot have been sufficient- we knew nothing about it!

The grounds for appeal are very restrictive and limited to arguments like has your vehicle been stolen, did you pay the charge, etc. So don’t allow for mitigating circumstances or any grey areas. We submitted an appeal which was rejected setting out our case for not being aware of it and given it was live for only three days previous, the fact it was such a new scheme had to surely be factored in their decision. However, we now have a few days to take the appeal to the next stage, Adjudicator who will look at it purely from a legal basis - it doesn’t appeal they can take mitigating circumstances into account. Also there is the usual carrot and stick to prevent going to the adjudicator by the offer of a 50% fine being withdrawn if the appeal is taken to the adjudicator.

Can anyone help us know how to challenge this? There isn’t any case law with it being so new. I have heard of someone who went through the zone at a similar time but received a letter saying they would be let off as it’s a new scheme - that person cannot find their letter but if that’s the case it shows inconsistencies in how first offenders are dealt with.

Please help!
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post Wed, 12 Jun 2019 - 06:56
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PASTMYBEST
post Wed, 12 Jun 2019 - 07:01
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post the PCN your representation and their response we are looking th challenge the lack of information re the charges


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JThorpe
post Wed, 12 Jun 2019 - 07:10
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Add to the above:

I have now seen the letter from the person who was let off on the basis it’s a new scheme. They were caught on 27th April. Correction tie hat I said above the scheme came into force on 8th April (not May), the person who was let off on grounds it’s a new scheme was let off having travelled through the zone on 27th April, we went through on 11th May, two weeks later - surely it’s reasonable that we are treated in the same way. Perhaps they are applying a one month cut off for such leniency but given we never drive into central London surely that should also apply to us?
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JThorpe
post Wed, 12 Jun 2019 - 07:45
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Photos attached, one and two are the PCNs, 3-5 is their rejection of the appeal and 6 are the very restrictive grounds for appeal, clearly designed to put people off appealing. Seven is the example of someone else being let off.

File size means I can’t add more photos to this post - was using my phone camera and screenshot...
Attached thumbnail(s)
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PASTMYBEST
post Wed, 12 Jun 2019 - 10:55
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post them all on an external hosting site such as imgur


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JThorpe
post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 15:00
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 - 08:01) *
post the PCN your representation and their response we are looking th challenge the lack of information re the charges


Please see all pages now attached. They are screen grabs into PDFs so apologies not great quality. Only thing I don't have is my appeal submission as I used the online form, but the case is the same as set out in my original post.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Latest update is;

1) I have until 20th June 2019 to submit a further appeal to the Tribunal, but really need to submit by 15th June as I am away after that for a week;
2) I telephoned Transport for London, asking if I could speak to the "Representations Team" who deal with appeals, but they are not public facing so do not take calls or emails;
3) The customer service representative I spoke to said the only thing I can do is either go straight to Tribunal or send further correspondence to the Representations Team, but that as they had already determined and refused the appeal any further communication would be invalid.
4) I have started to look into our case to take to the Tribunal, but as the Tribunal are made up of solicitors, they can only determine (as I understand it) on the letter of the law, so cannot allow an appeal on grey areas such as, signs not clear enough and "hadn't heard about it", the appeal form is very restrictive and states grounds can only be submitted on;
a) I was not the person liable for the charge at the time of the contravention;
b) The charge due for the vehicle used in the charging zone on that date, at that time and in the manner required had been paid;
c) No penalty charge is payable under the charging scheme;
d) the vehicle was used without the registered keeper's consent;
e) The penalty charge exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case;
f) The recipient is a vehicle hire firm.

So far I am looking at a case surrounding what I have already said, that there is a reasonable reason why I didn't pay (not being a Londoner and never driving into London, and not being aware of the ULEZ) whether the signs display sufficient information in accordance with the Advertisement Standards Agency guidelines, in that there was insufficient information (no mention of charge) and that this is misleading to the consumer (road user) who are misled by the sign in not knowing that by travelling that road they must pay a fee. This is very different to "congestion charge" which has a key word in the title. I am also looking at the Human Rights Act in that there was discrimination by way of region in that advertising, publicity, awareness and consultation was London centric and made little effort to reach those outside the ring road.

Anyone know anything I can draw on, in regulations / law, that will help a case that the signage is deficient?

Thank you so much in advance!
Attached File(s)
Attached File  PCN_No.1.pdf ( 48.17K ) Number of downloads: 22
Attached File  PCN_No.2.pdf ( 47.21K ) Number of downloads: 15
Attached File  Refused_Appeal_P1.pdf ( 75.89K ) Number of downloads: 40
Attached File  Refused_Appeal_P2.pdf ( 81.45K ) Number of downloads: 33
Attached File  Refused_Appeal_P3.pdf ( 74.17K ) Number of downloads: 25
Attached File  Official_permitted_grounds_for_appeal.pdf ( 62.97K ) Number of downloads: 25
Attached File  Other_example___warning_only.pdf ( 50.52K ) Number of downloads: 44
 
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cp8759
post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 18:33
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If you want to go off on a tangent, I think TFL is in breach of section 77 of the Immigration Act 2016 as the author of the letter clearly does not have a fluent command of the English language, and you are entitled to complaint to TFL about that.

Going back to your appeal, forget about all this nonsense about advertising standards and whatnot, that's not how these things work. The relevant legislation here is regulation 18 of The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1996/24...ulation/18/made

In a nutshell your appeal is based on the fact that the signs used by TFL do not secure "that adequate information as to the effect of the order is made available to persons using the road", because they don't tell you anything about having to pay a charge. Forget about all this ASA and Human Rights nonsense and concentrate on LATOR 1996 instead.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 18:33


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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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JThorpe
post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 18:39
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 19:33) *
If you want to go off on a tangent, I think TFL is in breach of section 77 of the Immigration Act 2016 as the author of the letter clearly does not have a fluent command of the English language, and you are entitled to complaint to TFL about that.

Going back to your appeal, forget about all this nonsense about advertising standards and whatnot, that's not how these things work. The relevant legislation here is regulation 18 of The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1996/24...ulation/18/made

In a nutshell your appeal is based on the fact that the signs used by TFL do not secure "that adequate information as to the effect of the order is made available to persons using the road", because they don't tell you anything about having to pay a charge. Forget about all this ASA and Human Rights nonsense and concentrate on LATOR 1996 instead.


Thank you, that's really useful - I will look into that! (the Traffic procedure order that is, not the Immigration Act of course!)
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RD1
post Thu, 27 Jun 2019 - 13:20
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QUOTE (JThorpe @ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 15:00) *
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 - 08:01) *
post the PCN your representation and their response we are looking th challenge the lack of information re the charges


Please see all pages now attached. They are screen grabs into PDFs so apologies not great quality. Only thing I don't have is my appeal submission as I used the online form, but the case is the same as set out in my original post.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Latest update is;

1) I have until 20th June 2019 to submit a further appeal to the Tribunal, but really need to submit by 15th June as I am away after that for a week;
2) I telephoned Transport for London, asking if I could speak to the "Representations Team" who deal with appeals, but they are not public facing so do not take calls or emails;
3) The customer service representative I spoke to said the only thing I can do is either go straight to Tribunal or send further correspondence to the Representations Team, but that as they had already determined and refused the appeal any further communication would be invalid.
4) I have started to look into our case to take to the Tribunal, but as the Tribunal are made up of solicitors, they can only determine (as I understand it) on the letter of the law, so cannot allow an appeal on grey areas such as, signs not clear enough and "hadn't heard about it", the appeal form is very restrictive and states grounds can only be submitted on;
a) I was not the person liable for the charge at the time of the contravention;
b) The charge due for the vehicle used in the charging zone on that date, at that time and in the manner required had been paid;
c) No penalty charge is payable under the charging scheme;
d) the vehicle was used without the registered keeper's consent;
e) The penalty charge exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case;
f) The recipient is a vehicle hire firm.

So far I am looking at a case surrounding what I have already said, that there is a reasonable reason why I didn't pay (not being a Londoner and never driving into London, and not being aware of the ULEZ) whether the signs display sufficient information in accordance with the Advertisement Standards Agency guidelines, in that there was insufficient information (no mention of charge) and that this is misleading to the consumer (road user) who are misled by the sign in not knowing that by travelling that road they must pay a fee. This is very different to "congestion charge" which has a key word in the title. I am also looking at the Human Rights Act in that there was discrimination by way of region in that advertising, publicity, awareness and consultation was London centric and made little effort to reach those outside the ring road.

Anyone know anything I can draw on, in regulations / law, that will help a case that the signage is deficient?

Thank you so much in advance!


Hi JThorpe

Thanks very much for this thread, and the associated information. It is very useful indeed - particularly the scan of the Warning Notice, which is very interesting.

I've just received a PCN for the ULEZ zone on the 19th June, and I've just filed a "representation" online, using "Other Mitigating Circumstances" as the appeals process is clearly designed to put off the majority of people by making it appear that if you don't fall into one of the six "permitted" grounds for appeal - that there is nothing you can say!

I was completely unaware of the ULEZ coming into force, living a long way outside of London and coming into London rarely - once or twice a year at most. I was very aware of the Congestion Charging zone, and specifically ensured that I entered the CC zone well after 1800, to avoid any fine becoming due. In addition, I used to work in the City, and had an account with TFL to automatically pay for any fines or charges that might become due. I was not made aware by TFL, as an account holder, that I needed to do anything, or that any charges/fines would no longer be paid - as appears to be the case.

Anyway, I've just filed the attached text as my appeal online, and suspect that some sort of unreasonable or statutory failure to make drivers aware that any payment is due outside of Congestion Charge zone hours is the only area that may hold some truck with the independent adjudicator. I am fully expecting this PCN appeal to be rejected, and will take it to the adjudicator, but wondered if you wanted to share thoughts to try and fight our respective PCN's together?

I've just filed this as my mitigating circumstances:

I am the driver of the car.

We live 65 miles outside of London and was not aware of the existence of the ULEZ zone, nor have we been notified, as a registered account holder with TFL of the impending change that might affect our ability to drive in and around London.

I have an account with TFL, with which the vehicles I drive are registered. If any charge was due, the amount should have been debited from this account automatically - in the same way that I can rely on it to deduct charges from the Dartford Crossing, thus preventing receiving any penalty charge at all. However, I specifically waited until after 1800 hours on the 19th June 2019 to enter the Congestion Charging zone, so that no charge was to become due. I used to work in central London, and have held the account since then, to automatically pay Congestion Charge charges on my behalf. I have received no notification from TFL, that I need to do anything to amend or change my account since opened approximately 18 years ago when I was working in the city. I would submit that this is patently unfair, and unreasonable not to deduct the lower amount - £11.50 from the account, instead of issuing a penalty charge of £160. Indeed, from having researched this matter prior to completing this challenge, I am aware that this new charge only came into being with effect from 8/4/19 - two months ago. How do you reasonably expect people that live a long way outside of London to be aware of it, and be in a position of knowledge that there is actually anything to pay?

On this issue, I would argue that you have statutorily failed to bring my attention to the fact that any charge is payable, due to emissions. My journey from South to East London, brought me through Putney, Chelsea and Knightsbridge, and I entered the ULEZ at Hyde Park corner. I have just checked the signage on Google maps on these roads leading upto the border of the zone, and they correctly show my recollection, that I am still reminded, by signage, that I am approaching the Congestion Charging zone - with large Red C's on the green signs, and large white C's on the road surface. Some of these signs remind me that the Charging zone is in effect between 0700 - 1800, times which I was already aware of, and had sought to specifically avoid. I had avoided them.

If TFL retrieve the traffic camera footage from these roads, from the day and time in question, they will be able to see that I was in very heavy traffic, surrounded by double-decker buses and lorries at the time, and I was unable to see any signage in any event between the single carriageway (beside the bus lane) approaching Hyde Park Corner, and where I entered the CC zone at Constitutional Hill well after the expiry of the CC times at 1855. I believed, that I was safe from charges to enter the CC zone.

Therefore, if a driver is fundamentally unaware of new restrictions on a zone, who does not live within, or even near, the zone, and has reasonably entered the Congestion Charging zone (which is sign-posted), but outside of the times of operation, how can a driver reasonably be aware that any charge at all is due?

In summary, my appeal is based on the fact that the signs used by TFL do not secure; "that adequate information as to the effect of the order or ULEZ is made available to persons using the road", because you do not make it explicitly clear that any charge is due, as per the requirements of LATOR 1996.

Finally, it would appear that you are aware of the poor signage, and the many thousands of local (and other) drivers that were unaware of the requirement that any fine was due, and I refer to paperwork sent in relation to PCN: YJ00691944, where I have evidence that instead of issuing a PCN notice to this "offender", you issued a "Warning Notice" rather than a PCN, as it is clear that TFL accept that there is a wide-ranging amount of lack of knowledge on the introduction of this scheme. Please advise exactly what determines whether TFL have issued a "Warning Notice" (a reasonable step after the introduction of a brand new scheme) and a PCN in the past few weeks?


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cp8759
post Thu, 27 Jun 2019 - 21:00
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RD1 it's not done to hijack another person's thread, please start your own.


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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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