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PCN received on Saturday in suspended parking bay
r00bic0n
post Mon, 29 Jul 2019 - 10:30
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Hello,

My mum came to help me load some stuff into her car between about 8.30-9.30am on Saturday 27th July. Usually there are no restrictions on weekends. There had been some roadworks the day before and a parking suspension sign was up (not next to where my mum parked but technically in the same parking bay a few doors down) but the roadworks were finished and no sign they would return. The car got a PCN. I checked the sign today and it said suspension was in force from 8am Friday until 6pm Saturday, so technically it seems we were liable. I just find it ridiculous to be fined on a suspension that enabled works to be done that were completed the day before. However I've read elsewhere that councils usually don't get the correct approvals/signoffs for these signs.

Have posted pictures of the sign and the PCN with this post. (Suspension notice also had "parking suspension" sign above it)

Would really appreciate any help with this! Thanks in advance.
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post Mon, 29 Jul 2019 - 10:30
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PASTMYBEST
post Mon, 29 Jul 2019 - 10:36
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post the back of the PCN and all of the council photos. If they are not online ask for them and a GSV


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r00bic0n
post Mon, 29 Jul 2019 - 12:52
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Ok thank you I can post the back of the PCN when back home, where can I find the council photos?

Actually scrap that I understand now!
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r00bic0n
post Thu, 1 Aug 2019 - 12:55
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Here is the back of the ticket and photos

This is all I can upload as have run out of space!

This post has been edited by r00bic0n: Thu, 1 Aug 2019 - 13:18
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PASTMYBEST
post Thu, 1 Aug 2019 - 12:59
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QUOTE (r00bic0n @ Thu, 1 Aug 2019 - 13:55) *
Here is the back of the ticket and photos

...

...


GSV and or location, we need to seen if you were in contravention and whether the sign is clear or not in describing the suspended area


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r00bic0n
post Thu, 1 Aug 2019 - 13:18
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Here it is - (sign was outside 105 Knatchbull Road; car parked outside 107)

This post has been edited by r00bic0n: Thu, 1 Aug 2019 - 13:21
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r00bic0n
post Thu, 1 Aug 2019 - 18:30
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What do you think?
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cp8759
post Thu, 1 Aug 2019 - 22:54
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If you can get proof that the roadworks had actually finished, you would have a compelling case of mitigation. Do you know who was doing the works?


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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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r00bic0n
post Wed, 7 Aug 2019 - 15:15
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I've emailed the council but have been told they usually get back within 10 working days. I have to appeal by this Saturday morning. Not sure who was doing the roadworks! What do you think I should do in case of them not responding to me in time?
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cp8759
post Wed, 7 Aug 2019 - 16:16
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You could ask them to exercise discretion to cancel, there's no much else you can do.


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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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r00bic0n
post Mon, 2 Sep 2019 - 14:54
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They have told me I have to pay it anyway sad.gif even though the roadworks were finished. Anything else I can throw at them?
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PASTMYBEST
post Mon, 2 Sep 2019 - 15:16
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I would carry on.

authorisation for the sign expires when it is no longer needed

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/trafficauths/case-3523.pdf

And this case supports

2160371376

The Appellant did not attend the hearing.
The photographs in this case are of such poor quality that it is impossible to be satisfied as to the wording of the sign, that it complied with Secretary of State’s authorisation, and that the vehicle was in such a position as to be in breach of its terms. In any event I find the Appellant’s evidence that the works in question had been completed to be persuasive, and it is therefore probable that the presence of the sign was in breach of the requirement in Part 2 Para 6(2) Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 that temporary signs should not remain in place for longer than is needed. As I am unable to be satisfied the prohibition relied on was correctly and clearly indicated the Appeal must be allowed.

both the regulations and the authorisation for the sign require that it be moved when no longer required


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r00bic0n
post Mon, 2 Sep 2019 - 19:08
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Thank you! Maybe I will go ahead, as what you've posted does seem it would directly support my case.

My only concern is that I have no categorical proof the roadworks had finished as the council have not responded to my email regarding that. However, the road was sealed (as evidenced in the photos) after roadworks having happened the previous day so I hope that counts as evidence.
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cp8759
post Sun, 8 Sep 2019 - 11:25
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I would also carry on. They have not rebutted your assertion that the works had been completed, on the contrary they seem to suggest the restriction is enforceable regardless until the time stated on the sign.


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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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r00bic0n
post Mon, 30 Sep 2019 - 13:46
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Thank you very much! I ended up doing as you suggested and waiting for the NtO - received it a few days ago and now putting an appeal together. I have written the following, do you think this will be sufficient, and do I have to attach the relevant legislation? They give only about 15 lines on an A4 page to write everything.

"A suspended parking bay notice from 08:00 on 26/07/2019 to 18:00 on 27/07/2019 was in place outside 105-109 Knatchbull Road. This was to allow roadworks to be undertaken by utility companies. I witnessed the roadworks happening on 26/07/2019. They appeared to be completed by the end of that day (26/07/2019). The road was sealed by the end of that day and remained so on the morning of 27/07/2019 (as is evidenced by photos taken by the Parking Enforcement Officer). This indicates that the roadworks were indeed complete and that there was no need for the parking bay to be suspended on 27/07/2019, which is when we parked there. I emailed Lambeth Council Highways team on 02/08/2019 to requesst confirmation of these facts but they did not respond. Part 2 Para 6(2) Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 states that temporary signs should not remain in place for longer than is needed. I believe Lambeth Council have contravened this requirement in not removing the sign, and in enforcing its terms, after the sign was no longer needed. I cite two other cases where such penalties have been wrongfully enforced and overturned: http://assets.dft.gov.uk/trafficauths/case-3523.pdf and case number: 2160371376".
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Mad Mick V
post Mon, 30 Sep 2019 - 15:49
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One of my bugbears is that Lambeth uses a suspension sign that does not conform to the DfT authorisation---the sign with "Warning" on it dates back quite a few years now.

So the Council is using an "old stock" sign which has lapsed and IMO cannot be used for enforcement purposes --- the previous iteration will have had conditions just like Art 4 of the present authorisation i.e the alteration of the sign means the previous sign ceases to have effect. Others will take the view that the sign complies because of substantial compliance but it is not as simple as that.


This is one of my appeals:-
I wish to challenge this PCN on the basis that the suspension sign used (photo enclosed) is not currently authorised as a traffic sign under Sect 64 of the Road Traffic Act 1984 and therefore cannot be used for enforcement purposes.

The Davis v Heatley case prescribed signage as follows:-

Davies v Heatley [1971] R.T.R 145

"Because by s.64(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 traffic signs shall be of the size, colour and type prescribed by regulation, if a sign the contravention of which is an offence contrary to s.36 is not as prescribed by the regulation, no offence is committed if the sign is contravened, even if the sign is clearly recognisable to a reasonable man as a sign of that kind."

The fact that the Council obtained DfT approval for a different suspension sign, which had alterations, in August 2012 suggests that it has erected a sign which has been revoked by the current iteration. The DfT approval for suspension signs is both restrictive and exclusive. It restricts the use of any other sign and means that the approved sign must be used on an exclusive basis. Clearly that has not happened in this case and therefore the sign used does not comply with the Departmental approval.

Second, the Council would be in abuse of process if it went through a Ministerial approval process, secured such approval then used something different, as in this case.

Third, according to the Herron (Appeal) case substantial compliance can only occur as follows:-

"Paragraph 37, Lord Justice Stanley Burnton states that the test is not if irregularities are trivial, it is whether there is substantial compliance with statutory definition. The statutory definition/specification can only follow from a local authority’s requirement to seek the Secretary of State’s approval for a designated suspension sign. Such approval would mean the provisions of Regulations 12, 18, 19 of The Traffic Signs Regulations 2002 (Part 1 of SI 2002 No. 3113) should apply to the authorised sign in the same manner as they apply to the sign diagram 636 in Schedule 2 of those Regulations".

Given that authorisation for the sign used has lapsed or been revoked Herron cannot thereby apply to signage which is not identifiable by statute nor has Ministerial authorisation. In such circumstances substantial compliance cannot arise since the sign does not have any statutory presence and it would be both an abuse of process and prejudicial to compare it to it to the August 2012 iteration.

For the above reasons I believe the PCN is thereby unenforceable and should be cancelled.
Mick

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r00bic0n
post Tue, 1 Oct 2019 - 12:36
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Thanks for this! Should I include all those points then? As in, cite its lack of validity on multiple grounds: outdated signage and beyond the time when it was needed? Was what I wrote okay? I'm not used to speaking in legal language.
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hcandersen
post Tue, 1 Oct 2019 - 13:40
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Substantial compliance would deal and dispense with the sign: times have moved on. Does the sign adequately inform the motorist of the nature and extent of the restriction?

IMO, yes, with a slight caveat as regards exactly where the OP's car was parked, how the limits of the area were demarcated and, if two suspension signs were required, where the second sign was located.

but the roadworks were finished and no sign they would return.



So if true, what is the legal significance of this point?

IMO, twofold:
Procedural;
In the context of the contravention.

I think the first might carry more punch if, as I suspect, they had finished and ceased using the area (OP, don't forget, reserving these areas is often more to do with storing equipment and materials than placing a cordon around the area to be worked on).

The authority did not say what the OP claims - it happens when people editorialise. They said:'even if there is no work going on'.

This could be interpreted as 'at the time', 'but they were still occupying the suspended area' etc. But their photos show the contrary, therefore I think their comment is based as much in the lack of diligence of the officer as any on-the-ground realities.

OP, you must spell out clearly why you formed a reasonable conclusion that the need for the suspended bay had ceased (I prefer this expression to the alternative of 'no work going on')

If true:
You had observed their works and saw them leave the site, removing all equipment;
Given the relatively small extent of the suspended area, it is axiomatic that if you (and apparently others) were able to physically park, then no part of that area was actually being occupied by the utility company.

The above lead to grounds of either contravention did not occur/penalty exceeded the amount ...in the circumstances of the case - the authority would not be acting fairly and reasonably in seeking to pursue a penalty in these circumstances - or mitigation. The authority must address these grounds and if they reject provide detailed reasoning e.g. the CEO's notes indicate the contrary etc.
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cp8759
post Tue, 1 Oct 2019 - 13:42
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I think you need to re-focus your formal representation on the primary point, i.e. that the works had been completed and the authorisation for the sign ceases "in any event after the sign has ceased to be needed at that location" (see Article 3 here http://assets.dft.gov.uk/trafficauths/case-3523.pdf). Not that the other points are not valid, but this is the strongest one so it must be your primary argument.


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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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r00bic0n
post Sat, 9 Nov 2019 - 13:34
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Hello,

Thanks for everyone's help so far. I responded to the NtO with the following:

"A suspended parking bay notice from 08:00 on 26/07/2019 to 18:00 on 27/07/2019 was in place outside 105-109 Knatchbull Road. This was to allow roadworks to be undertaken by utility companies. I witnessed the roadworks happening on 26/07/2019. They appeared to be completed by the end of that day (26/07/2019). The road was sealed by the end of that day and remained so on the morning of 27/07/2019 (as is evidenced by photos taken by the Parking Enforcement Officer). All equipment had been removed and none was being stored there. This indicates that the roadworks were indeed complete, the bay was not being used for storage and that there was no need for the parking bay to be suspended on 27/07/2019, which is when we parked there. I emailed Lambeth Council Highways team on 02/08/2019 to request confirmation of these facts but they did not respond. Part 2 Para 6(2) Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 states that temporary signs should not remain in place for longer than is needed. I believe Lambeth Council have contravened this requirement in not removing the sign, and in enforcing its terms, after the sign was no longer needed. I cite two other cases where such penalties have been wrongfully enforced and overturned: http://assets.dft.gov.uk/trafficauths/case-3523.pdf and case number: 2160371376"."

(or very similar wording - I can't find the exact file of my specific wording)

Have received a letter from Lambeth today saying:

"We have carefully considered what you say but we have decided not to cancel your PCN. You were issued a PCN for parking in a bay that had been suspended. There were yellow signs saying 'Warning. Parking suspended. No waiting, loading, unloading'. Bays are generally suspended to allow for roadworks or large delivery vehicles. Our suspension log shows that your vehicle was not in the bay when the suspension sign was put in place. It is the motorist's responsibility to make sure that they obey the suspension notice and that their vehicle is legally parked at all times. It is up to drivers to check on their car every day to make sure that their parking bay is not being suspended. I understand from your letter that the reason you were in the parking bay was because the work had been completed,therefore you thought that parking was allowed. Although you may have thought that the work had been completed, the bay was still suspended for the duration paid for by the contractor (end date 27/07/2019 at 18:00 hours) and you were not allowed to park there."

They seem to have completely ignored my point about them enforcing the sign beyond it being needed. I now have the option to appeal to the Environment and Traffic Adjudicators, or to pay a reduced fine of £65 (amazed that they are offering this again, as when I received the NtO, the reduced option had been removed and I was asked to pay £195 - is this all normal?)

Would appreciate advice on this - should I keep going? Is this standard procedure? Or does it look like I haven't got a case?

Thanks in advance
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