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Unclear/unfair signage - should I appeal?
ReelDeel
post Tue, 10 Sep 2019 - 14:28
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Hi Everyone,

I was ticketed at 18:41 in a parking bay (Totterdown Street, London, SW17) where parking meter pay & display restrictions finish at 16:30, within a Controlled zone which is enforceable until 17:30 (see picture). The contravention code on the Wandsworth Borough Council ticket (also below) is 01 (Parking in a restricted street during prescribed hours). They apparently observed my vehicle parked there for 3 minutes which is more than the 2 minutes minimum that is required.

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/6227/IOptjY.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img922/231/fB6wOR.jpg

It turns out that even though the parking restriction signs I mentioned are close to each other and easily the clearest and biggest restriction signs in the street, there is also a very small yellow sign (above the parking meter bay restrictions sign) indicating that despite according to two other signs all restrictions in the road end at 17:30, parking on a single yellow line (within one of the marked bays) is not allowed until after 19:00. This seems grossly unfair and deceptive to me, especially as it has not g to do with loading/unloading.

On talking to local shopkeepers, it seems that Wandsworth council has been lobbied about this on numerous occasions as it is driving business away and although promises have been made to change the signage to make it clearer, for years, nothing has been done. To me and to the shopkeepers and their customers, it appears these signs are kept to intentionally catch people out. Apparently there are hundreds of tickets dished out here each month to drivers who read the two larger and much clearer signs and fail to see the small yellow sign.

Do you think this is unfair and if so, do you think I have a chance at appeal?

Many thanks for all your help.

This post has been edited by ReelDeel: Tue, 10 Sep 2019 - 14:29
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post Tue, 10 Sep 2019 - 14:28
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stamfordman
post Tue, 10 Sep 2019 - 15:26
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Let's see the council's pics.

The CPZ sign has been twisted for some time it seems if that's a current shot of yours. It was like that last year:

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4295054,-0....6384!8i8192

However a small yellow timeplate for a yellow line that has its own times is standard.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Tue, 10 Sep 2019 - 15:26
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ReelDeel
post Tue, 10 Sep 2019 - 17:41
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Many thanks for your reply. Yes, I took the picture of the Controlled Zone sign at the time, so it's current. Here are the pics taken by the 'Civil Enforcement Officer' - interesting that the bent sign doesn't feature in any of his pictures:

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/8431/ZFfj6k.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/3203/sPEPb1.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/8411/mdm0su.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/5622/Cpw9le.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img922/8057/6K7EEU.png
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/3747/Ww5gKV.png

Thanks for your help..

This post has been edited by ReelDeel: Tue, 10 Sep 2019 - 17:42
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cp8759
post Tue, 10 Sep 2019 - 21:15
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I think you'll struggle with this one to be honest, especially if you were parked right under 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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ReelDeel
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 07:36
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Thank you cp8759.

It just seems unfair to me that there is a huge sign stating that 'Controlled Hours' end at 5:30pm, yet this is not the case as they are dishing out parking tickets until 7pm.

To me, and to many others who have lobbied their local MP, this seems very misleading. I'm surprised they are allowed to do that. It's very backhanded. Surely the controlled hours sign should be changed to indicate 7pm?
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stamfordman
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 07:45
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It's not unusual for a yellow line to have its own timeplate that applies instead of the controlled zone. They are often at the edge of zones like this in busy places.
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hcandersen
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 08:21
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To me, and to many others who have lobbied their local MP, this seems very misleading.


Mmmm wink.gif

So are you a motorist who for the first time was caught out by this different waiting restriction or were you well aware of it beforehand and are perhaps on a crusade?

I ask because this could have a bearing on your approach and the authority's response.

On the one hand you could challenge on the basis that it is misleading that the first length of waiting restriction within a CPZ is not subject to the zone's restriction but one which is more onerous and that as this was the first time you had parked there you were caught out. On the other that you know about the restriction but disagree with it.

I know which, if either, would elicit the more sympathetic response.

So, your backstory with this parking place is??

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ReelDeel
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 09:05
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Many thanks for your response, hcandersen.

I live in a different part of London and this is the very first time I parked there. I was meeting a friend in Tooting Market, who is also not from the area. I know from talking to the local shopkeepers, who came out when they saw me taking photos, that they have lobbied their local MPs for a number of years now, and despite promises to have the signs changed and made clearer, people who are new to the area and have not seen multiple signs with conflicting messages, are very often ticketed for exactly the same reason I was.
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cp8759
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 12:52
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The fact that many people get caught out is not determinative that the restriction is not properly signed. The simple fact is that it is, and even a cursory examination of the sign would reveal as much. It might be that because of the CPZ hours, you didn't bother looking at the sign at all, but of course that's not a ground of appeal.

In practice I don't see much you can do other than 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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hcandersen
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 17:52
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Of course it can be challenged.

The CPZ sign could as easily be placed where THAT restriction starts, not where another does.

And as for the so-called parking place sign, one doesn't have to look any further than this:

White panel signs

8. A restriction, prohibition or information of a description in column 2 of the sign table in Part 4 must be conveyed by a sign which complies with paragraphs 9 to 18.

9. The sign must have a white background and black border as shown in blank diagram 2 in Part 1.


And the black border is where?

I would have only given it a cursory glance.

So the council's best case is a possibly compliant waiting sign but for a more onerous restriction above a non-compliant parking place sign.

Frankly, I'd carry on.
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cp8759
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 21:03
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The white sign isn't the one that was contravened?


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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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Gert
post Thu, 12 Sep 2019 - 16:21
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Cake and eat it spring to mind here. LAs uphold PCNs when drivers have parked on a single yellow line and use the CPZ entry sign as the irrefutable fact that having passed it, they were aware of the prevailing restriction. And within a CPZ there is no requirement for a time plate displaying the restriction.

So assuming in this matter that the OP HAD seen the CPZ and absorbed the times parking on the SYL was prohibited, why would they check for a time plate outside of the declared times?

If they went to the trouble of implementing a CPZ, would that or should that supercede any and all prior existing SYL TMOs?
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ReelDeel
post Thu, 12 Sep 2019 - 17:09
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Hi everyone,

Many thanks for your replies, although I am now more confused than I was before. Maybe its just me, but it seems some are saying its worth challenging and some are saying its a waste of time. I now have no idea whose advice to take.

That aside, I still find it extraordinary that the local authority is allowed to put up a misleading controlled zone sign incorrectly stating times when parking restrictions are active. To me, if a controlled zone ends at 5:30pm, then there should be no tickets issued after that time. If the sign had clearly stated 7pm, taking into account the yellow line restriction, then of course, that is absolutely clear to everyone and we wouldn't have hundreds of similar situations to mine. Why on earth do the CPZ signs not account for ALL restrictions in that particular zone?
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cp8759
post Fri, 13 Sep 2019 - 16:28
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Unfortunately the council is entitled to have a single yellow line with different restrictions from the CPZ, which is why when parking on a single yellow in a CPZ, there remains a duty to look for signs. The CPZ hours can be relied on only if the single yellow has no time-plate of its own.

You can challenge it if you want, but I don't think it's a clear-cut case, so the outcome is uncertain to say the least. You could take the view that if your car was parked right under the sign, you don't have much of an excuse for missing it. If you challenge they're likely to re-offer the discount in most cases.


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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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ReelDeel
post Fri, 13 Sep 2019 - 18:18
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Many thanks cp8759. This most helpful. I’ve done some investigating into the use of CPZ signs and as you advise, the law basically gives local authorities carte blanche to make it unclear and confusing - I assume to enable them to ‘trick’ people into parking in the wrong places, and thereby earning more revenue. However, I have also just got my hands on guidelines for road markings, so will be down there with a tape measure and camera to ensure that the yellow line is valid. Then I will report back. Thanks for all your help so far.
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cp8759
post Sat, 14 Sep 2019 - 18:31
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The line is going to be substantially compliant, any minor discrepancy does not make it invalid so to be honest, you're probably wasting your time if you think that taking a few pictures with a tape measure would help.


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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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