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How much advanced notice is required for a suspension bay notice?
themagician
post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 15:01
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Summary of my investigation in to this topic having browsed the web, spoken to my MP and read London tribunal adjudications:-

1. There is no legal requirement for a Council to provide any notice prior to suspending a residents parking bay.
2. If a Council includes a notice period for suspension in their resident permits ts & cs, an adjudicator will hold them to it. Sadly, Merton Council don't provide any notice period.
3. If you Google the same question as I've posed, you'll find that the answer is always avoided and the questioner is encouraged to defend the PCN on a technicality, typically there being a problem with the position or wording of the suspension notice. The problem there is that you have no guarantee that the adjudicator will agree.
4. The London tribunal adjudication are arbitrary. Case law doesnt apply. An adjudicator isn't beholden to even his own adjudication. The onus is on the motorist to prove that the Council is lying.
5. If you receive a PCN, you can either pay within 14 days and get a 50% discount, make an informal appeal to the council when you'll get a further 14 days, pay the full amount between 14 & 28 days or pay 150% after 28 days.
6. If you take the case to tribunal, you have a 50% chance of failure and may have to pay the Council's costs as well as the increased penalty.
7. Councils have admitted in Parliament that they are using PCNs to subsidise Council tax revenue and to deter motorists for environmental reasons.
8 It's completely pointless investing time fighting a kangaroo court system. You're best off just sucking up the penalty and praying the Council doesnt target you again.


Hi all,

I parked my car in my street at 22:35 on 11th June 2019, opposite my house. I was issued with a PCN for parking in a suspended bay at 14:17 on 12th June 2019. The suspension notice stated that it's applicable from 00:00 12th June 2019. I spotted the PCN when I went to my car at 15:20 on 12th June 2019, having seen the suspension notice when I opened my front door. I have no recollection of seeing it prior to that.

Now so far, Merton Council could simply say that it is their word against mine and they erected the suspension notice prior to my parking there on 11th. However, today I went out to look at the suspension notice again and it's been altered so that the suspension now starts from 00:00 14th June 2019.

How much notice does Merton Council have to provide for erecting and/or altering a suspension notice? Is less than 24 hours acceptable?

Photograph taken of my car parked directly by the suspension notice. I think it's highly improbable that I could have missed that when exiting the driver's seat if it had been in situ on 11th.
Location of my car directly by suspension notice

Parking suspension notice pic provided as evidence by Merton council:-
Original version of the parking suspension notice

Current version of the parking suspension notice:-
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AiOjal1k9kGFjaJQY9USsdOczSJCEA

Video of me leaving my house and going to suspension notice:-
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AiOjal1k9kGFjaJRzx66YTam2UxeyA

PCN

Google Street view:- https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/16+Milt...33;4d-0.1867892

This post has been edited by themagician: Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 09:15
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post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 15:01
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stamfordman
post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 15:10
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You'll need to download the council's pics and host them. Post the PCN too.

Sounds like they may have put a sign up prematurely.
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cp8759
post Thu, 13 Jun 2019 - 18:35
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Some councils have a policy of putting signs up X-number of days before the suspension starts, unless it's an emergency suspension. Merton's policies are on rows 164 to 176 here http://bit.ly/2ALghSS have a read through and see if you find anything relevant.

In the meantime, post up the PCN, the council photos and a link to the location on google street view.


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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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themagician
post Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 11:43
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Ok, I've downloaded the Council pics to my Onedrive and added links to the original post. I've also added a link to Google street view.

It's currently 12:42 14/06/2019 and there is still no skip outside No. 16 which is empty so I cannot find out if they actually requested a suspension or not or when they noted the notice being erected.

I have an honest belief that Merton Council are simply erecting suspension notices on the day and fining cars.

What does "Section 43(2) exemption - uses Response Master by Barbour Logic" refer to?

I'm assuming a skip can't be classified as an emergency suspension?

Understood about council's having policies but are there actually any laws to prevent Merton Council simply suspending a bay with less than 24 hours notice say? I've provided evidence that they've altered the dates with less than 24 hours from the new effective start date.

This post has been edited by themagician: Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 12:26
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hcandersen
post Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 12:27
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Now so far, Merton Council could simply say that it is their word against mine and they erected the suspension notice prior to my parking there on 11th

I don't understand. Why would you speculate about what they might say when you have the opportunity through your informal reps to put this point to them and require a detailed response i.e. the signs were not in situ when I parked at *** on ****.

And what did the first suspension signs state as regards a reason? And if this was works of some sort, did these take place? If not, could the possibility that either the suspension was for the wrong date or that no detriment was suffered because no works were undertaken be developed?

I don't know, we don't have the facts.
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themagician
post Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 13:04
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I provided a copy of the original suspension notice:- Original Suspension Notice

It states that the suspension is for "Skips".

The video that I provided showing me leaving my house and going up to the revised version of the suspension notice shows that no skip was present yesterday and there is still no skip there today.

I can await a response from the Council to my informal appeal.

With regards to no detriment having occurred, is that a legal defence to parking in a suspended resident's parking bay? Is there a link to a case where an appeal has been accepted on that basis?

Is there anyway to independently verify what the correct suspension period should have been? The suspension notice has a waiver number on it. Otherwise I have to rely on Merton Council's honesty, who are obviously not incentivised to inform me if they made a mistake.

This post has been edited by themagician: Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 14:31
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themagician
post Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 21:43
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Having complained to my MP about this, Jim Rogers of Merton Council responded today. He says that the suspension notice was erected on 10th June 2019, the skip company couldn't leave their skip outside No. 16 on 12th June 2019, on 13th June 2019 Merton Council then updated the original notice to start on 14th June. The problem with the response is that he was already aware of when I parked the car so could fit his version of events around it.

In response, I've pointed out to him that no skip has arrived today either. I've asked No. 16 for their version of events but the only person I've met so far is a girlfriend of 1 of the tenants who didnt know anything about building work or the suspension notice. I was in all day on 12th June until 15:20 when I found the PCN. Nobody knocked on my door to enquire if it was my car in the suspended bay and I live directly opposite. If I needed a skip delivered and somebody had parked there, I'd be banging on all my neighbours doors until I found out who was responsible. Even if it's an absentee landlord, somebody must be doing work that requires the skip.

So the only concrete evidence provided by Merton Council is a photo of my car parked directly by a suspension notice outside No. 16 at 14:17 12/06/2019. This doesn't clear up when the notice was erected. Do they not have to provide any evidence to an adjudicator? If you believe their version of events, is it acceptable to provide less than 48 hours notice of a parking suspension? A lot of people in London only use their cars at weekend.

Going back to the question in the topic, if there is no requirement for notice to be provided what's to stop Merton Council simply suspending parking bays at whim?
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cp8759
post Sun, 16 Jun 2019 - 17:51
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QUOTE (themagician @ Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 22:43) *
Going back to the question in the topic, if there is no requirement for notice to be provided what's to stop Merton Council simply suspending parking bays at whim?

Notice must be given, but how much? Well how long is a piece of string?

There is no regulation that is explicit on the point so it all comes down to what an adjudicator would accept is adequate notice. However, if you parked after the suspension sign went up, it hardly matters for how long the sign had been there.

You accept you parked at 10:35 pm on 11th June, the council's suspension log will likely reflect that the sign was erected on 10th June and you say the sign is right next to your car. On that basis, you don't have a leg to stand on and your best bet is to ask the council to exercise discretion to cancel.


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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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themagician
post Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 15:49
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Well if you trust the Council not to simply record in their log that they erected it a day before. I don't and there's currently nothing to stop that from occurring. Council officials are often found guilty of fraud and this is currently wide open to abuse with obvious monetary incentives. Even police officers have been known to doctor evidence to support a case.

For the record all i have from Mr Rogers is an assertion that the sign was erected the day before, no physical evidence has been provided to back up that claim. Given that I'd told him when I'd parked it's easy to make such an assertion and/or doctor the log appropriately.

The enforcement officer took several timed pics of my car to prove an infringement. Why is there no requirement for the erector to take 1 timed pic proving they put the notice up when they claim they did. Simple solution and then there'd be no dispute. Instead this forum seems to think that trying to find legal loopholes is the appropriate way to defend yourself.

This post has been edited by themagician: Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 15:59
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Incandescent
post Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 16:16
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OK, so you don't believe their statement of notice erection date. Well you have the option to take the matter to adjudication to see if your story is more believable than the council. That, I'm afraid is how things work, as the criminal standard of proof is not required, and ajudicator will decide based on "the balance of probabilities". As it is their word or yours on the sign it is essential you attend the adjudication. The council are very unlikely to attend.

QUOTE
I parked my car in my street at 22:35 on 11th June 2019, opposite my house. I was issued with a PCN for parking in a suspended bay at 14:17 on 12th June 2019. The suspension notice stated that it's applicable from 00:00 12th June 2019. I spotted the PCN when I went to my car at 15:20 on 12th June 2019, having seen the suspension notice when I opened my front door. I have no recollection of seeing it prior to that.


So seeing the sign immediately you open your front door to go to your car on the 12th, it being virtually outside the door, yet did not see it when you went into your house the previous day surely means the sign wasn't there when you parked-up. Either that or it being dark you didn't notice it. You have to convince the adjudicator it wasn't there when you parked.

What you say here is also something to put to the adjudicator: -

QUOTE
Now so far, Merton Council could simply say that it is their word against mine and they erected the suspension notice prior to my parking there on 11th. However, today I went out to look at the suspension notice again and it's been altered so that the suspension now starts from 00:00 14th June 2019.


Could it be they took the sign down to alter it. Even if they didn't, altering the date, means it is effectively a new suspension notice, so when did they alter it. The PCN is surely void as their own sign has a revised date on it.


This post has been edited by Incandescent: Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 16:22
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cp8759
post Tue, 18 Jun 2019 - 11:09
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QUOTE (themagician @ Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 16:49) *
Well if you trust the Council not to simply record in their log that they erected it a day before. I don't and there's currently nothing to stop that from occurring. Council officials are often found guilty of fraud and this is currently wide open to abuse with obvious monetary incentives. Even police officers have been known to doctor evidence to support a case.

But the log will have been recorded at the time the sign was put up. The person who puts the sign up has no knowledge of your PCN, he works in a different department to parking enforcement and couldn't care less about whether you get your PCN cancelled or not.

While the odd conviction for fraud does occur, it is rather rare and I'm not aware of any evidence that "Council officials are often found guilty of fraud", saying stuff like that at the tribunal will just make you sound like a conspiracy theorist who's clutching at straws and will say anything that you think would help your case, that will pretty much destroy your credibility.


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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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