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PCN Code 12: Parked in a residents parking zone
swelliott
post Sat, 25 Jan 2020 - 13:13
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I'll try to keep this as simple as possible. I received a PCN from Richmond Upon Thames Council (PCN #RT37822013) for parking in a permit holders only parking bay.

You can see from the warden’s photos that I never had any intention of parking illegally because as soon as I had parked the car, I went to the pay & display machine and purchased a ticket to cover 30 minutes of parking.

When I first drove into Moor Mead Road from Hill View Road, I looked for somewhere to park. Because I was facing south, I was looking out of the driver’s side window (westerly direction) looking at the controlled parking signs, and could see that it was pay and display parking up until 16:30. I had arrived at 16:22 so knew I had to buy a ticket. I was visiting No. 6 Moor Mead Rd and saw a parking space close by outside so parked in it, which just happened to be on the East side of the road.

As I then purchased a parking ticket and displayed it properly on my dashboard, I thought I had done everything I should have done to legally park where I had done. It was only when I returned to the car and saw the PCN, that it made me look at the controlled parking signs on that side of the road, and that’s when I noticed that the East side of the road was permit holders only – different to the other side of the road.

It may be naievity but I never knew that 1 side of the road could have different controlled parking to the other. I just presumed it was done on a road by road basis. I had done everything possible to legally park, and if it was my intention to try and park without paying for 10 minutes, I would never have bought a parking ticket. The fact that I did only goes to show I was acting in the proper manner with all the right intentions.

There were parking spaces on the other side of the road, so had I parked in one of those spaces, I would never have received a PCN, but as stated above, when I arrived I thought I was parking legally. Had there been no spaces anywhere else and I was parked in a permit holders only space, then I can see why a PCN would have been issued. However, because of the fact that there were other spaces on both sides of the road, this can clearly be seen as being a simple mistake that I now know I will not make again. But to charge me £55 when it can clearly be illustrated that I never had any intention of parking illegally, and did everything to park legally by purchasing a ticket, I think that is quite unfair and disproportionate.

So this is the first angle I could try and appeal on - a sympathy card that reiterates the fact that I bought a ticket and did everything I thought was correct. The 2nd angle is...

I could appeal the PCN based on the timing it was issued. I had parked at 16:22, and on the council website, it states the car was observed from 16:23, and then the PCN was issued at 16:29, 1 minute before the controlled parking ended. According to the photo of the PCN stuck on my windscreen, the PCN was stuck on my car at 16:29:39 - 20 seconds before the end of the controlled parking time. In fact, half of the photos have a timestamp of 16:30:02 or later. Could I appeal on something like the time is so close to the end that we cant be sure the times of their sytem is 100% accurate to the second, and therefore the PCN could have actually been issued on or slightly after 16:30?

I have attached some photos of the PCN as well as copies of what the warden took. Any help/guidance in this would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,
Shaun.

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post Sat, 25 Jan 2020 - 13:13
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stamfordman
post Sat, 25 Jan 2020 - 13:27
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Golden rule - always check the bay signs for the bay you are in. Nothing else matters. But the sign must be clear. Councils rarely use discretion for not checking the bay sign.

A stronger point is that London Councils guidance is not to issue within 2 minutes of the start/end of a restriction. Richmond hopefully complies with this.

b) Time restrictions/paid parking
Where a time restriction applies, CEOs should not issue a PCN less than two minutes before a restriction starts or less than two minutes after the restriction has expired. For example, if a restriction starts (or paid-for time expires) at 8.00am then a PCN should only be issued if the vehicle is in contravention after 8.02am. Similarly, if a restriction ends at 6.00pm then no PCNs should be issued after 5.58pm. It should be stressed that a vehicle in such a situation does not have the right to be in place for two minutes – this is not a grace period.

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swelliott
post Sat, 25 Jan 2020 - 13:49
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Thanks Stanfordman. I've certainly learnt my lesson there and won't be doing it again.

Would the point that you raised still apply if it's noted on their website that the car was actually observed from 16:23 - 7 minutes before the restriction ends?

Thanks.
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swelliott
post Sun, 26 Jan 2020 - 08:19
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Thanks Stamfordman for the very helpful advice. I’m certainly going to make this the main argument in my appeal as it seems very harsh to be given a ticket 1 minute before / at the time the restriction ends.

Does anyone else have anymore input or advice please?

Thanks
Shaun.
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hcandersen
post Sun, 26 Jan 2020 - 10:07
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Post your draft here first.

You have no statutory defence and the tone of your challenge should reflect this.

And despite the CEO's Handbook being pored over by many highly-paid officers, you still get this tosh:

b) Time restrictions/paid parking
Where a time restriction applies, CEOs should not issue a PCN less than two minutes before a restriction starts or less than two minutes after the restriction has expired. For example, if a restriction starts (or paid-for time expires) at 8.00am then a PCN should only be issued if the vehicle is in contravention after 8.02am. Similarly, if a restriction ends at 6.00pm then no PCNs should be issued after 5.58pm. It should be stressed that a vehicle in such a situation does not have the right to be in place for two minutes – this is not a grace period.


So:
CEOs should not issue a PCN less than two minutes before a restriction starts or less than two minutes after the restriction has expired...

of course they b****y shouldn't, if a restriction hasn't started or has ended then there's no b****y restriction to contravene!

And despite the law changing - there is now a 'grace' period - as far as I can tell the handbook has not been amended.
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stamfordman
post Sun, 26 Jan 2020 - 11:34
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Sun, 26 Jan 2020 - 10:07) *
CEOs should not issue a PCN less than two minutes before a restriction starts or less than two minutes after the restriction has expired...



? That's the opposite to what it says.

It's only guidance though.
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PASTMYBEST
post Sun, 26 Jan 2020 - 11:41
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What does the time stamp for te photo showing the PCN attached say? It's not served until affixed that may be an argument


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swelliott
post Sun, 26 Jan 2020 - 13:41
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Thanks everyone for the advice, and once completed I'll post my draft appeal on here.

I can see what you're trying to say hcandersen.

The earliest timestamp I can see on the warden's photos with the PCN attached to the car is 16:29:39 - so 21 seconds before the restriction ended.

Thinking out loud, if I did use the 2 minutes guidance as the main point in my appeal, could they not reject it on the fact that the car was observed in the parking space from 16:23, 7 minutes before the restriction ended?
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hcandersen
post Sun, 26 Jan 2020 - 16:58
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It's not a statutory defence as such, it is merely an addendum to your compelling reasons why in the circumstances of the case you would ask the authority to exercise their discretion and cancel the PCN.

You have to accept that you were in contravention because you were, but because you genuinely misread the signs and actually purchased a P&D ticket; in light of the fact that the contravention time was only ** minutes before the restriction and therefore contravention ended; and in light of the guidance issued by London Councils in the form of the CEO's Handbook, you would ask that on this occasion the authority exercise discretion and cancel the PCN.

(by the way..if you purchased a ticket for 30 mins, did this expire at 4.30? When was it purchased?)
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swelliott
post Sun, 26 Jan 2020 - 18:20
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Thanks for that hcandersen.

Yes, the PCN had an expiry time of 16:30, and I bought it at 16:22 (according to my phone). So even though I put the minimum 30 minutes on it, the expiration time still said 16:30, not 16:52.
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swelliott
post Mon, 27 Jan 2020 - 12:25
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Hi,

So here is my first draft for the appeal...

I am writing this letter to appeal against the above PCN regarding the alleged contravention: 12: Parked in a residents parking place or zone.

On this occasion, I would like to ask that the Council exercise their discretion and cancel the PCN due to the time that the PCN was issued, along with the fact that I never intended to park illegally and bought and displayed a parking ticket for the few remaining minutes before the restriction ended.


Time the PCN was Issued

The PCN was issued at 16:29, and the first photo that the warden took of the PCN being issued by placing it on my windscreen has a timestamp of 16:29:39 – only 21 seconds before the restriction ended. In fact, half of the warden’s photos have a timestamp past 16:30, when the restriction had ended.

London Councils guidance is not to issue a PCN within two minutes of the start/end of the restriction, and I would like to think that Richmond Council complies with this. It states on page 54, ‘Section 8: Issuing a PCN where only a minor infringement is occurring’, of the Civil Enforcement Handbook v.2:

b) Time restrictions/paid parking
Where a time restriction applies, CEOs should not issue a PCN less than two minutes before a restriction starts or less than two minutes after the restriction has expired. For example, if a restriction starts (or paid-for time expires) at 8.00am then a PCN should only be issued if the vehicle is in contravention after 8.02am. Similarly, if a restriction ends at 6.00pm then no PCNs should be issued after 5.58pm. It should be stressed that a vehicle in such a situation does not have the right to be in place for two minutes – this is not a grace period.




My Intention to Park Legally

You can see from the warden’s photos that I never had any intention of parking illegally because as soon as I had parked the car, I went to the pay & display machine and purchased a ticket to cover 30 minutes of parking.


When I first drove into Moor Mead Road from Hill View Road, I looked for somewhere to park. Because I was facing south, I was looking out of the driver’s side window (westerly direction) looking at the controlled parking signs, and could see that it was pay and display parking up until 16:30. I was visiting No. 6 Moor Mead Rd and saw a parking space close by which just happened to be on the East side of the road.

As I then purchased a parking ticket and displayed it properly on my dashboard, I thought I had done everything I should have done to legally park where I had done. It was only when I returned to the car and saw the PCN, that it made me look at the controlled parking signs on that side of the road, and that’s when I noticed that the East side of the road was permit holders only – different to the other side.

I couldn’t believe this, and never knew that 1 side of the road could have different controlled parking to the other. I was dismayed as I had done everything possible to legally park, and if it was my intention to try and park without paying, I would never have bought a parking ticket. The fact that I did only goes to show I was acting in the proper manner with all the right intentions.

There were parking spaces on the other side of the road, so had I parked in one of those spaces, I would never have received a PCN, but as stated above, when I arrived I thought that the Pay & Display restrictions applied to both sides of the road. Had there been no spaces anywhere else and I was parked in a permit holders only space, then I can see why a PCN would have been issued, as I could have potentially stopped other residents parking there. However, this wasn’t the case and the fact that a parking ticket was displayed proves that I had all intentions of parking legally.

To charge me £55 when I thought I did everything possible to park legally by purchasing a ticket, I think is quite unfair and disproportionate. I believe it is clear to any reasonable person that it would not be in the public interest to penalise a person who clearly intended to do the right thing, and who did display a valid parking ticket for the duration that I was parked there. I have clearly demonstrated that I had the best intentions.

I therefore politely request that the council act fairly and proportionately in this matter and cancel this PCN. Many thanks.
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swelliott
post Tue, 28 Jan 2020 - 08:08
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Anybody got any feedback on the draft appeal above please? Thanks
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hcandersen
post Tue, 28 Jan 2020 - 08:49
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I went to the pay & display machine and purchased a ticket to cover 30 minutes of parking.


No you didn't. You purchased a ticket for approx. 8 minutes' parking! If you think about it, you should stress and develop this point under your 'Intention to park....' heading because at present you've, sorry to say, waffled on about other matters while ignoring the obvious:

According to you, you thought you were subject to a P&D restriction ending at 4.30.
You arrived at 4.22.
You could either not buy a ticket, chance your arm and sit in the car until 4.30, or simply leave the car and hope, or drive around the block for 8 minutes or pay for a ticket. You chose the latter which, because the ticket expired at 4.30, actually had an effective marginal cost of £** per hour. But at least this gave you peace of mind and allowed you to get on with your pressing business. This peace of mind lasted until ** when you returned to find a PCN at which point your instinct was to give someone a piece of your mind, but that passed.


Lighten matters up a bit. IMO, you really don't have to go into detail about why you mistook the sign: you did, these things happen.
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swelliott
post Tue, 28 Jan 2020 - 09:45
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Thanks hcandersen. Yes, I do have a tendency to waffle on a bit but I was trying to get my 2nd point across.

Ok, points taken onboard. I'll amend it today and try and get it up again later on. Thanks.
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swelliott
post Tue, 28 Jan 2020 - 16:12
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How about this....


To whom it may concern,

I am writing this letter to appeal against the above PCN regarding the alleged contravention: 12: Parked in a residents parking place or zone.

On this occasion, I would like to ask that the Council exercise their discretion and cancel the PCN due to the time that the PCN was issued, along with the fact that I never intended to park illegally and bought and displayed a parking ticket for the few remaining minutes before the restriction ended.


Time the PCN was Issued

The PCN was issued at 16:29, and the first photo that the warden took of the PCN being issued by placing it on my windscreen has a timestamp of 16:29:39 – only 21 seconds before the restriction ended. In fact, half of the warden’s photos have a timestamp past 16:30, when the restriction had ended.

According to London Councils guidance, they recommend not to issue a PCN within two minutes of the start/end of the restriction, and I would like to think that Richmond Council complies with this. It can be seen on page 54, ‘Section 8: Issuing a PCN where only a minor infringement is occurring’, of the Civil Enforcement Handbook v.2:

b) Time restrictions/paid parking
Where a time restriction applies, CEOs should not issue a PCN less than two minutes before a restriction starts or less than two minutes after the restriction has expired. For example, if a restriction starts (or paid-for time expires) at 8.00am then a PCN should only be issued if the vehicle is in contravention after 8.02am. Similarly, if a restriction ends at 6.00pm then no PCNs should be issued after 5.58pm. It should be stressed that a vehicle in such a situation does not have the right to be in place for two minutes – this is not a grace period.



If it is London Council’s own guidance not to issue a PCN within 2 minutes of the restriction ending, I find it upsetting and frankly unjust that I have been issued a PCN with only 21 seconds of the restriction remaining.


My Intention to Park Legally


You can see from the warden’s photos that I never had any intention of parking illegally because a parking ticket that I had bought was displayed on the dashboard. When I first drove into Moor Mead Road, I could see the Pay & Display meters and the parking restrictions sign out of my driver’s window (I approached from the North) so presumed I could buy a ticket for the length of my stay. As such, I thought I had done everything I could have done to park legally at this point.

I could have sat in my car until the restriction ended, or just leave the car and hope that it wasn’t noticed. However, I chose to do the honourable thing and buy a ticket, which when calculating the cost of my parking duration effectively cost me over £4.80 per hour. Nevertheless, I was willing to pay this for the few remaining minutes of the restriction to give me peace of mind so that I could go about my other business stress-free.

It was only when I returned to the car and saw the PCN, that it made me look at the controlled parking signs on the side of the road that I had parked, and that’s when I noticed that the East side of the road was permit holders only – different to the other side that was Pay & Display. I never knew that 1 side of the road could have different parking restrictions to the other.

Consequently, to charge me £55 when I thought I did everything possible to park legally by purchasing a ticket, and the fact that it was so close to the restriction ending, I think is quite unfair. I have clearly demonstrated from the points above that I had the best intentions, and I therefore politely request that the council act fairly and proportionately in this matter and cancel this PCN. Many thanks.
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swelliott
post Wed, 29 Jan 2020 - 07:32
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Any feedback on my 2nd draft please?
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hcandersen
post Wed, 29 Jan 2020 - 09:07
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It's fine for this stage.

By the way, how much did you pay to park?

And remember to include a copy of the P&D because it might not be clear in the photos.
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cp8759
post Fri, 31 Jan 2020 - 18:46
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If the council rejects, I would focus on the PCN wording. Given the nature of the contravention, the PCN should make it clear that the parking place in question was a residents' parking bay, there is approved wording on the London Councils contravention code list and the council has no real excuse for not using it.

Think of it this way, from the PCN and the P&D ticket it is impossible to determine what the alleged wrongdoing is, and the tribunal has held that it should be possible to determine the allegation from the PCN without having to look at extraneous evidence.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Fri, 31 Jan 2020 - 18:46


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swelliott
post Wed, 11 Mar 2020 - 12:28
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Hi,
So I've finally received the result of my appeal this morning and they've said they will not be cancelling the PCN. See the attached letter.

Based on everything I said in the original post, do people think it's worth carrying on with the appeal and making formal representations, or shall I just accept their decision and pay the fine?

Thanks.
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stamfordman
post Wed, 11 Mar 2020 - 12:37
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I think they are playing fast and loose with the London Councils guidance by including the observation time in the run up to the PCN time. But they want your money.
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