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Got my car removed from car park, Fined even though I paid for parking..
KaraBela
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 11:55
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Hi All,

The other day I parked at Bentley Road Car park in Dalston, London. I took my tools and headed to the nearby job I had and called the number to pay for the parking session as I had it saved on my phone, seconds later I received the message that the payment for my parking was successful. Couple of hours later I went back to get something from the car and the car park was cleared and there were tents instead. It turns out that they've placed a temporary Covid-19 testing center. Later I've found out that my car was relocated to a nearby street and I was fined for that. Challenged the parking ticked as the signage wasn't clear and I didn't see any warning signs while I was walking out from the car park, and also the system allowed me to pay for my parking without giving any indication that there was a suspension, but today I received a letter from Hackney council that I have to pay. I would like to ask you for your help as I do not think that it is fair to be fined after I paid for the parking session and I really think that the council didn't do a good job with the signage and the telephone payment system. Later that day when I was leaving I saw that they've placed barriers in front of the entrance of the car park, they've could place these in the first place. Basically the exit from the car park is to the left of the bottom picture on the second attachment.

Any help and advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Regards


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post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 11:55
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Incandescent
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 12:20
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The usual Fob-Off letter to informal challenges. If you want to take the matter further, you'll have to wait for the Notice to Owner and submit reps to that. The discount option is lost at this point, so if they reject the reps you can take them to London Tribunals at no extra cost.
It does sound like a very quickly arranged suspension of the car park thus the signs are not prominent. Clearly they have signed near the ticket machine, but seem to have forgotten regular users who use PbP. I would say your chances are good but it is always a gamble, I'm afraid. It is this or pay the discount.
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cp8759
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 12:45
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My initial thoughts are that the contravention code is wrong, if the car park was closed it should be 93 - Parked in car park when closed. The fact that the rejection letter mentions you being parked in an unmarked part of the car park shows that even the council is confused over this.

Are you sure none of the parking suspension signs were there when you parked?

We also need to see a photo of the tariff board that outlines the terms and conditions for parking in this car park, unless it specifically states that you can be given a PCN for parking in a suspended space or when the car park is closed you cannot be fined for that.

I'll get hold of the Traffic Management Order as well so we can see what the suspension powers are, if any.


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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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stamfordman
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 12:47
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This car park is very near to me and over the past few weeks it's been used a testing centre at certain times.

What time did you get there - the PCN is timed at 07:57 and it looks like you may have got there before they starting setting up, in which case the signage could well be inadequate.

I can take any pics on terms when they've taken down the testing stuff.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 12:48
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Mad Mick V
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 12:48
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Perhaps the OP is on the back foot with this one given that there appear to be suspension notices dotted about.

If the car park was closed I would have expected the lower penalty Code 93 "Parked in car park when closed".

I would not have expected a clearly marked parking bay to be a "restricted area".

If the whole car park was shut to parking for that number of days I would not have expected that pay by phone would be available.

Lastly the parking places order will allow the Council to suspend parking bays but I doubt it allows them to suspend the "parking place" i.e. the car park.


Mick
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KaraBela
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 13:06
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Thank you for the replies.

cp8759, I am not entirely sure, they might have been there but I didn't notice any as I parked to the closest bay (literally the first when you enter the car park) and walked out. I don't think that it has anything to do with marked space and .etc as it is clearly visible from the photos. I'll be back there Monday and I'll make a picture of the tariff board. Thank you very much for your help.

Regards,

QUOTE (stamfordman @ Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 13:47) *
This car park is very near to me and over the past few weeks it's been used a testing centre at certain times.

What time did you get there - the PCN is timed at 07:57 and it looks like you may have got there before they starting setting up, in which case the signage could well be inadequate.

I can take any pics on terms when they've taken down the testing stuff.


Thank you for your reply, the time stated on the payment SMS that I received is 07:18

Regards,

QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 13:48) *
Perhaps the OP is on the back foot with this one given that there appear to be suspension notices dotted about.

If the car park was closed I would have expected the lower penalty Code 93 "Parked in car park when closed".

I would not have expected a clearly marked parking bay to be a "restricted area".

If the whole car park was shut to parking for that number of days I would not have expected that pay by phone would be available.

Lastly the parking places order will allow the Council to suspend parking bays but I doubt it allows them to suspend the "parking place" i.e. the car park.


Mick


That's why I didn't suspect anything as they've charged me for the parking session over the phone payment system..

Thank you for your reply.

Regards,
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stamfordman
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 13:27
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Signage needs to be obvious if you parked near the entrance and at 07:18 they hadn't secured the car park.

There are several grounds here but you will need to make reps at formal stage so full £130 will be in play.

I'm walking up the shops later so will see if I can take pics of suspension signage but they may stop me taking pics.
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cp8759
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 15:24
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 14:27) *
I'm walking up the shops later so will see if I can take pics of suspension signage but they may stop me taking pics.

They cannot do that, it would be a breach of Article 10 of the ECHR.


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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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stamfordman
post Sat, 27 Jun 2020 - 16:54
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Sorry I misread - I thought the PCN was yesterday not last week. Anyway, for what it's worth the car park is deserted and plastered all around with suspension signs including at the entrance for a suspension 3-5 July but no one is using it - must have scared them off as usually it's busy. I can't believe the OP would have missed this had it been signed like this on 19 June.





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KaraBela
post Tue, 28 Jul 2020 - 04:40
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Hi everyone,

Sorry that I've got lost for a bit there, but there is a lot going on around me at the moment. "stamfordman" thank you very much for the pictures and to answer your question, I think there was less signage back then or it might simply be because of my stupidity 🙂

Anyways, I've received the "Notice To Owner" couple of days ago and would like to ask if anyone has some time to help me out with the wording of the representation, as I don't feel confident enough..

Thank you.

This post has been edited by KaraBela: Tue, 28 Jul 2020 - 04:41
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PASTMYBEST
post Tue, 28 Jul 2020 - 11:53
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Post all of the NTO and one of us will draft a representation for you


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KaraBela
post Tue, 28 Jul 2020 - 17:54
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 - 12:53) *
Post all of the NTO and one of us will draft a representation for you


Thank you very much for your attention. Just got home and here is the NTO:

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KaraBela
post Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 08:45
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Can anyone help me out with this? It's not like begging but I would appreciate any help 😅
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PASTMYBEST
post Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 09:27
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QUOTE (KaraBela @ Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 09:45) *
Can anyone help me out with this? It's not like begging but I would appreciate any help 😅


We need ALL of the NTO all pages and everything other than your personal details Dates are crucial and the council often make mistakes


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Mad Mick V
post Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 10:36
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At this stage I would just send the following, with name and address etc:-

I wish to appeal PCN number??? on the basis that the contravention given cannot apply to a closed car park.

The attached photo indicates all car parking spaces were unavailable and therefore the car park was non-operational. The contravention should therefore have been the lower penalty Code 93 "parked in a car park when closed".

The Authority has a duty to act fairly and where the same situation can give rise to more than one contravention, the Authority is obliged to proceed on the one involving the smallest penalty. I therefore consider the Authority has acted unfairly in pursuing the higher penalty.

Notwithstanding that situation, I find it difficult to understand why I was able to make a pay by phone payment and why, if I parked in a dedicated parking space, the Authority can class this as a restricted area when it will not be so described in the Off Street Order.

I also maintain the Authority removed my vehicle from the car park illegally. I understand the Authority can relocate my vehicle within the car park because of it being in a restricted area (contested as above) but this does not provide the justification to relocate outside the car park onto a public road.

Let's see how they respond. I think their logic will set the OP up for a Tribunal appeal.

Mick

This post has been edited by Mad Mick V: Sun, 2 Aug 2020 - 08:47
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phantomcrusader
post Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 11:51
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Could it not also be argued that the suspension sign is only authorised by the DfT to be erected on roads and it's use has no power to convey a restricted area in a car park?
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cp8759
post Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 18:55
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QUOTE (phantomcrusader @ Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 12:51) *
Could it not also be argued that the suspension sign is only authorised by the DfT to be erected on roads and it's use has no power to convey a restricted area in a car park?

No, the power to erect signs off-road does not come from sections 64 and 65 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 so that principle does not apply. There is a statutory power to make regulations for off-road parking signage under section 35B, but the Secretary of State has never bothered making any regulations under that power. At common law councils must be entitled to make up their own signs for car parks, as otherwise nothing could be enforced in council car parks *at all*, which can't be right.

I would also challenge the PCN on the basis that the signs were not there when KaraBela parked, and put the burden on the council to prove otherwise.

I've asked for the suspension log, as it will be handy when it comes to the tribunal appeal.


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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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reca
post Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 20:11
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Where is the TRO and the suspension order?

Where does the power to remove come from?

The description is wrong (the code is irrelevant) the charge for closed car park lower band, is lower still 80 and higher 130?

There can be no part of the CP which is restricted if the CP is closed.

This post has been edited by reca: Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 20:21
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PASTMYBEST
post Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 20:52
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QUOTE (reca @ Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 21:11) *
Where is the TRO and the suspension order?

Where does the power to remove come from?

The description is wrong (the code is irrelevant) the charge for closed car park lower band, is lower still 80 and higher 130?

There can be no part of the CP which is restricted if the CP is closed.


agreed


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phantomcrusader
post Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 21:10
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 19:55) *
QUOTE (phantomcrusader @ Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 12:51) *
Could it not also be argued that the suspension sign is only authorised by the DfT to be erected on roads and it's use has no power to convey a restricted area in a car park?

No, the power to erect signs off-road does not come from sections 64 and 65 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 so that principle does not apply. There is a statutory power to make regulations for off-road parking signage under section 35B, but the Secretary of State has never bothered making any regulations under that power. At common law councils must be entitled to make up their own signs for car parks, as otherwise nothing could be enforced in council car parks *at all*, which can't be right.


You are missing my point. The DfT authorisation is specific to their use on "roads" only.

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/trafficauths/case-3918.pdf
Therefore they are not authorised to be used anywhere else. The council has no authority to use them off street. There is no prescribed signage for off street car parks but it is accepted that so long as signage is clear it will suffice. Using an on street parking suspension sign may suffice (if the DfT authorisation specifc to their use on "roads" can be overlooked) but does a suspension sign create a "restricted area" in an off street car park?
Critically does the off street parking places order define what a "restricted area" is and how it is conveyed?

This point will go over the head of any council employee but it may give a sympathetic adjudicator something to use in the OP's favour should they not accept the wrong contravention code was used. Or, perhaps if pointed out to the council that the suspension signs are not authorised for use off street, this may weaken their confidence to let it go to adjudication.

This post has been edited by phantomcrusader: Sat, 1 Aug 2020 - 21:16
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