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Challenging a PCN in these special circumstances
adam108
post Wed, 29 Jan 2020 - 15:57
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I am a musician and was doing a gig in a pub - On a Sunday afternoon I parked at about 1.30pm in Lewisham High St in a red striped loading zone - which allows you to load between 10.00am - 4.00pm

I stopped the car outside the pub unloaded my equipment intending to move the car after unloading.
Upon trying to start the car, it wouldnt start. And I was stuck with the car there but not able to move it during the afternoon as the gig was about to start shortly and I wouldnt have been free to attend the vehicle.
I rang the AA and booked a call - and asked them to come in the break. They could not guarantee that. I therefore asked them to come at the end of the gig which was to be 5.30pm. They said they could not be sure to come until 6.30pm And put notices on the front of the car windscreen and the back windscreen explaining the situation - and went in and the gig started.

At the end of the gig. I came out and the car started. I loaded my gear back in the car. Rang the AA and rebooked the appointment for my home address. The AA came at about 8pm, examined the car and did tests on it and emailed me a report.

A some days later I received a PCN with the contravention in location of Lewisham High Street of that Sunday time 14.54 - and a photo of my car parked there ( with notice visible in the rear windscreen)
The contravention was "46: Stopped where prohibited ( on a red route or clearway)"
* *
The evidence I have is the AA report of later that evening. And the photos from the fixed camera showing my car in two photos, one far away and one zoomed in - both show the notice I put in the back window.
* * *
So my question is: do I have enough evidence to challenge the PCN ( £130 - half paid if or £65 if paid within 21 days of 23Jan2020)

I assume there would be camera evidence all afternoon of me coming out, on the phone, putting the notices on the windscreen etc - would they look at this in my favour?

I would appreciate any expert comment on this- thanks
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post Wed, 29 Jan 2020 - 15:57
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mummyof3
post Wed, 29 Jan 2020 - 16:12
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Post up the PCN - all sides, show everything apart from personal info ie dates location etc
A GSV (Google Street View) - where you were parked
All pictures from the council
Video if available


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Incandescent
post Wed, 29 Jan 2020 - 19:26
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So what was the problem with the car ? Reason to ask is if it was known or foreseeable, (like no petrol/diesel), then a win at adjudication is unlikely.

I suspect the council will bat-off your reps as they can only see the money, (typical of all London councils, and most others in England). You would then have to stand your ground and take them to London Tribunals but have to risk the full PCN penalty, the discount option is lost then.
Therefore it is important you have good solid grounds for cancellation of the PCN.

This post has been edited by Incandescent: Wed, 29 Jan 2020 - 19:27
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PASTMYBEST
post Wed, 29 Jan 2020 - 20:30
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What did the AA find when they came out and can you evidence this.

I parked unloaded then stuck a note on the windscreen saying broken down. (Don't you think TfL are likely to have heard that before?) Then when you finish your business the car starts and you drive away. You are going to need some strong evidence


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adam108
post Tue, 11 Feb 2020 - 15:48
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Thanks to all who have made suggestions. I have tried without success to upload 3 photos here directly as attachment.
But you can view them in this Dropbox Link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qudjawptj2wcv3i/...ER1QvLkSma?dl=0

1/ PCN notice
2/ AA Report from that same evening made at my home after the car was inspected by AA person
3/ Google Street view of the Fox and Firkin - where those two black cars are currently stationed is where I was parked.

The facts are as follows:

1 - Parked the car to unload. Tried to moved it after. Car wouldnt start. Called AA ( left notices in the window as visible on the PCN camera photo).
2 - Looking at CCTV footage I would be visible on the phone trying to ring the AA before the gig started and during the break.
3 - AA records will show that I had booked them for a genuine call and had had to cancel and appoint a later time as I was indoors working
4 - AA records will show that I then rang them once I discovered that the car would start and rebooked the appoint for my home later that evening.
5 - The AA report ( document 2 above) will show that the Air Mass meter was at fault and that I was advised to take it to the garage the next day
6 - The garage I took it too will testify that they worked on the problem and had the car for several days.

Surely these are reasonable grounds and evidence to cause the PCN to be cancelled?
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mummyof3
post Tue, 11 Feb 2020 - 20:20
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https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4567709,-0....3312!8i6656


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hcandersen
post Tue, 11 Feb 2020 - 23:30
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The position is simple IMO.

You were in contravention unless you can establish an exemption.

The only one which could apply is being prevented from moving by circumstances beyond your control.

Your car was permitted to be parked when you were unloading after which it was in contravention. Your obligation, not option, was to move the vehicle out of contravention immediately after unloading.

You didn't, you played a gig.

You claim that when you returned to the vehicle after unloading it would not start. You also acknowledge that it did start first time when you returned after your gig. You also acknowledge that you would not permit the AA to attend other than when convenient to you. IMO, this is your Achilles Heel. You have to move out of contravention as early as possible, not when it suits you.

Unless there are significant flaws in the PCN - which we have not seen in full - or you are prepared to carry on regardless in the hope that some winning procedural flaw would come to your rescue, I would pay the discount which ends on 16 Feb.
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adam108
post Wed, 12 Feb 2020 - 10:55
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Tue, 11 Feb 2020 - 23:30) *
The position is simple IMO.

You were in contravention unless you can establish an exemption.

The only one which could apply is being prevented from moving by circumstances beyond your control.

Your car was permitted to be parked when you were unloading after which it was in contravention. Your obligation, not option, was to move the vehicle out of contravention immediately after unloading.

You didn't, you played a gig.

You claim that when you returned to the vehicle after unloading it would not start. You also acknowledge that it did start first time when you returned after your gig. You also acknowledge that you would not permit the AA to attend other than when convenient to you. IMO, this is your Achilles Heel. You have to move out of contravention as early as possible, not when it suits you.

Unless there are significant flaws in the PCN - which we have not seen in full - or you are prepared to carry on regardless in the hope that some winning procedural flaw would come to your rescue, I would pay the discount which ends on 16 Feb.


This is most helpful straight advice - thank you.

NB - there are two key question further: re your point about not seeing the whole of the PCN - the rest of the PCN not shown is nothing but standard form. You have all the details on the photocopy of the PCN which is at the link I quote earlier. I assume you have checked this out.
Q1: Regarding flaws in the PCN - the time of the contraventions is stated as 14.54 - this could be a flaw in the PCN because actually the sign at the side of the road said that I am pretty sure that one could park there between 10.00am - 4.00pm .. so does this wrong time undermine my PCN. Actually if they had made the time of the contravention after 4pm I could accept that I had contravened it. But at 14.54 I was still legally parked.
Is this sophistry? As there is not question that I stayed parked there till well after the permitted time of stopping.
Q2: If I had refused to do the gig ( and left the entire band without a pianist) in order to move the car.. this would have got me not paid and sacked from this band which I regularly played with. They would not have been able to do the performance without a pianist. Does this not count as a circumstance which prevents me from moving the car?

* * *

So just to be clear.. I have already made an online challenge to the PCN with the same evidence that I have presented here. If the decision goes against me, will that mean that I will have to pay the full £130 ?
ie the choice is pay £65 before 16th Feb - or very likely £130 later... ?

This post has been edited by adam108: Wed, 12 Feb 2020 - 21:52
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cp8759
post Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 13:08
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Call TFL and ask for the video, you will be sent a DVD in the post and the penalty will be put on hold while you wait. The video may help corroborate your version of events.


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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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adam108
post Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 13:55
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 13:08) *
Call TFL and ask for the video, you will be sent a DVD in the post and the penalty will be put on hold while you wait. The video may help corroborate your version of events.

Thanks for this suggestion - I have called TFL and asked for the video and it is being sent to me.

* * *

Would appreciate an expert comment from anyone on these two points made above:

Q1: Regarding flaws in the PCN - the time of the contraventions is stated as 14.54 - this could be a flaw in the PCN because actually the sign at the side of the road said that I am pretty sure that one could park there between 10.00am - 4.00pm .. so does this wrong time undermine my PCN. Actually if they had made the time of the contravention after 4pm I could accept that I had contravened it. But at 14.54 I was still legally parked.
Is this sophistry? As there is not question that I stayed parked there till well after the permitted time of stopping.

Q2: If I had refused to do the gig ( and left the entire band without a pianist) in order to move the car.. this would have got me not paid and sacked from this band which I regularly played with. They would not have been able to do the performance without a pianist. Does this not count as a circumstance which prevents me from moving the car?

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PASTMYBEST
post Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 15:15
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The contravention is a stopping restriction, you are only allowed to load between 10.00am and 16.00pm so the first point wont was.

The second, I would not accept that you could not delay the start of your gig by a few minutes in order that you obey the law and a doubt very much that an adjudicator would.

As for the reason being beyond your control, IMO an argument could be made re the breakdown. The AA report indicates a number of faults that occurred only sporadically that gives some credence to your account that the car would not start when you tried to move it but would when you tried later. I think in that circumstance most people would move the vehicle and drive home


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hcandersen
post Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 20:46
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IMO, as soon as an adj sees 'sporadic' they'd conclude, rightly or wrongly, that you did not keep your vehicle in a reasonable state of repair and that this might not be the first time you'd broken down. I'm intrigued as to what you told the AA the second time, because according to you the vehicle was in a running state when they attended.

In which case the defence of 'beyond your control' would fail IMO, no matter how many witnesses you might have who could only testify to after the fact events.
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PASTMYBEST
post Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 21:16
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 20:46) *
IMO, as soon as an adj sees 'sporadic' they'd conclude, rightly or wrongly, that you did not keep your vehicle in a reasonable state of repair and that this might not be the first time you'd broken down. I'm intrigued as to what you told the AA the second time, because according to you the vehicle was in a running state when they attended.

In which case the defence of 'beyond your control' would fail IMO, no matter how many witnesses you might have who could only testify to after the fact events.


That depends years ago I had a merc with an electronic key, on a trip to France it would not start, the key would just not connect phoned travel insurer who said sail back to UK and a breakdown truck would meet us, did this but truck couldn't get onto the ferry in the place they had parked me, so told sail back to France to meet a smaller truck. Low and behold the car started. Turned out it was electrical equipment on the bridge that was not turned off when docked the first two times but was on the return to France as there was a longer stop

Perhaps this was similar all the faults found seemed to be electrical


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hcandersen
post Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 21:22
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The issue is not truth, it's what an adj would make of the evidence.

Yes, strange things happen in the universe, but don't expect an adj to speculate or decide in favour of these unknowns!
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PASTMYBEST
post Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 21:29
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 21:22) *
The issue is not truth, it's what an adj would make of the evidence.

Yes, strange things happen in the universe, but don't expect an adj to speculate or decide in favour of these unknowns!


The argument if made would almost certainly come down to consistency and credibility and require a personal hearing to have any chance. The evidence could be construed two ways it would be for the OP to persuade that there account is correct


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hcandersen
post Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 23:14
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Convince the adj of what?

Firstly, they have to show why they did not move the vehicle as soon as possible instead of waiting and performing a gig. Good luck with that one.

Next, the report suggests intermittent errors in a vehicle which was running when the tests were carried out.

The AA report suggests a background of sporadic faults = previous temperamental behaviour = prior experience of faults.

Therefore forget 'circumstances beyond...'. If a car has a propensity to not start then don't take it on the road.

If the OP thinks that their evidence, let alone the authority's, could persuade an adj to their cause then carry on and risk the discount.

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adam108
post Today, 14:02
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 15:15) *
The contravention is a stopping restriction, you are only allowed to load between 10.00am and 16.00pm so the first point wont was.


Fair enough - I accept this point

QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 15:15) *
The second, I would not accept that you could not delay the start of your gig by a few minutes in order that you obey the law and a doubt very much that an adjudicator would.


If you read again more carefully my original point you would acknowledge that it was not possible to 'take a few minutes to move the car'. Once the car had not started by me trying to turn the engine over a few times ( and believing not unreasonably that I was stuck there), I had no way of moving the car - except by calling the AA. An adjudicator would surely realise this. The only choice for me it seems would have been to call the AA, stay with the car until they came - or walk off the stage when they came in the middle of the gig). Surely an adjudicator would recognise that I was put in an impossible position?

QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 15:15) *
As for the reason being beyond your control, IMO an argument could be made re the breakdown. The AA report indicates a number of faults that occurred only sporadically that gives some credence to your account that the car would not start when you tried to move it but would when you tried later. I think in that circumstance most people would move the vehicle and drive home


There is extra evidence in my favour for regarding the car fault which I have not mentioned - on the previous Monday night in Soho, the car broke down in the same way when it was parked ( legally) on a single yellow. I called the AA and when the mechanic came the car started. The AA mechanic said to me he was sure that it was the starter motor and that I needed it replaced. I went ahead and paid a garage £180 to replace the starter motor. I got the car back and a few days later drove to the Fox and Firkin gig. The same thing happened. Same problem with the car not starting. And a new starter motor had been installed.

* * *

At what point is it totally obvious to anyone with reasonable judgement - that this is a completely clear case of misfortune and that I do not deserve to have to pay a fine?

This post has been edited by adam108: Today, 14:18
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adam108
post Today, 14:16
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 23:14) *
Convince the adj of what? Firstly, they have to show why they did not move the vehicle as soon as possible instead of waiting and performing a gig. Good luck with that one.


With respect - I am baffled by your reply. Are you not personally convinced from all the evidence submitted by me to this thread that this is a genuine case?
The car broke down, I had a professional job to do. I did my best to arrange for the vehicle to be moved. If I was a plumber repairing a broken water pipe, or a doctor on call perhaps you or an adjudicator would have a different view of the value of work? Or the amount of leighway that a professional person is entitled to in this situation?

QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 23:14) *
Next, the report suggests intermittent errors in a vehicle which was running when the tests were carried out.

The AA report suggests a background of sporadic faults = previous temperamental behaviour = prior experience of faults.

Therefore forget 'circumstances beyond...'. If a car has a propensity to not start then don't take it on the road.


This is also a mistaken argument. Take a look at my last post. I had every reason to believe that the fault would not re-occur. I had spent money on the car since the previous time this same fault had occurred. And had every reason to believe that I had done my best to make the car reliable and roadworthy.

QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 - 23:14) *
If the OP thinks that their evidence, let alone the authority's, could persuade an adj to their cause then carry on and risk the discount.

I respectfully suggest that you have not fully considered the evidence I have submitted and have therefore reached a wrong conclusion.

This post has been edited by adam108: Today, 14:20
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hcandersen
post Today, 15:00
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With respect - I am baffled by your reply. Are you not personally convinced from all the evidence submitted by me to this thread that this is a genuine case?
The car broke down, I had a professional job to do. I did my best to arrange for the vehicle to be moved.



You were in contravention.
You want to rely upon an exemption which is that you were prevented from moving for reasons beyond your control.

This requires you to establish:
1. The vehicle was actually broken down when you returned after loading had ceased;
2. This occurred for reasons beyond your control.

So far the only hard evidence you have that the car was even broken down is the record of a phone call made to the AA. Your assertion that it was broken down is purely that, an assertion. It is not hard evidence.

According to you the AA could have attempted to attend twice before you actually moved the car.

You refused both.

Miraculously, but perhaps not surprisingly to you, the car started as soon as the gig had finished.

The power of music?

You have to convince an adjudicator.

I don't know you and I cannot see you. i cannot ask you all the questions an adj might pose. Therefore I give you my view based on your objective evidence, and I am not convinced that you could prove on the balance of probabilities that the exemption applies.

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stamfordman
post Today, 16:13
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You may as well appeal this. TFl sometimes makes a mess of rejections. They will reoffer the discount. Then you can decide. I don't think it's likely they will accept.
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