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Alexdm
Hi all, I was wondering if anybody could spare a little time to help me in the following situation.

On 02/02/2016, I was calling in at the Co-operative and pulled into a bay just outside (Durham Road, Low Fell in Gateshead) the time observed was 4.19pm to 4.20pm. This is the first time I have stopped in this village and I did not see either the sign or the fact that loading hours are 8am-9pm and 4pm-5pm. All other hours, you are free to park (no return within 1 hour)

I went into the shop to get 2 items, and was no longer than 1min30 seconds. On my way out of the shop, I was shocked to see a parking attendant walking towards my car. I genuinely hadn’t seen the “loading bay” sign as I do feel that they are quite hidden – particularly from the angle that I was parked and the way that you walk into the shop. The location of the black car is pretty much the exact same position of my car:

This is the angle that I would be walking into the Co-operative

This is another side angle. I do feel that the sign is quite hard to see and obstructed by the raised wall and light:

I didn’t cause a scene with the parking attendant. He just told me that it was the wrong type of vehicle and half-heartedly pointed over to the sign which was still difficult to see from the bay that I had parked in. This is a view of the sign from another angle:



This is an image of the bay I was parked in (with no car vacant):

I did tell the parking attendant I hadn’t realised that the sign related to directly outside the area where I was parked. I told him that I was literally about to leave and we could mutually leave on good terms. He said that the ticket had already been processed and was starting to get the yellow envelope out. I got in the car and started the engine, by this time; he had stuck it on my window. PCN code 23. Here are photos of the ticket that I received:






I really hope someone can help me try to contest this decision. I never stop in this area normally and it was a genuine accident. I feel that the council/attendants are probably just swooping down on this area and issuing tickets for a quick fine with people feeling like they have no real argument. I re-visited the site this afternoon and there was the same attendant from yesterday giving someone a warning about parking on the double yellows. This is the other area which seems to be a disabled bay only with double yellow lines and this then goes into the section where I was caught.
http://i68.tinypic.com/2agky9j.jpg

I don’t think I have much of a case for the idea of loading/unloading. I have a Toyota Aygo, which I guess is a restricted class of vehicle and I only opened the boot on my return to put the two items in. I must admit though, the sign doesn’t actually say what is classed as a restricted vehicle. Really, it’s just the location of the sign that I am not happy about and no wording in the bay (e.g. Loading bay restrictions) and this has genuinely caught me out.

Just as a side note: I’ve checked Google Streetview (dated April 2015) and they actually moved the sign further back to the wall (as seen in my pictures). I don’t know why and what this has achieved, maybe someone can elaborate on this?

Thanks,

Alex
Incandescent
Quite plainly this is what is called a "money trap", and a favourite of councils that use CPE as a cash cow. The only mileage I can see is the sign being obscured by the wall. The sign is very clear once you see it. Your third photo does actually show it does stick out a bit so it is not totally obscured, and is visible but mostly side-on. This is the sort of case that could go either way at adjudication, and that is the thing, to test the matter you'd have to go to TPT and risk the full PCN amount, (£70). However nothing will be lost if submit an informal challenge, as they'll re-offer the discount if they refuse. You might ask, in the appeal, why the sign was moved back so far, thus making it far less easy to see from the end you parked. Their reply may also provide a means to appeal formally with hope of a win, as councils often shoot themselves in the foot when refusing challenges.
Alexdm
QUOTE (Incandescent @ Thu, 4 Feb 2016 - 17:32) *
Quite plainly this is what is called a "money trap", and a favourite of councils that use CPE as a cash cow. The only mileage I can see is the sign being obscured by the wall. The sign is very clear once you see it. Your third photo does actually show it does stick out a bit so it is not totally obscured, and is visible but mostly side-on. This is the sort of case that could go either way at adjudication, and that is the thing, to test the matter you'd have to go to TPT and risk the full PCN amount, (£70). However nothing will be lost if submit an informal challenge, as they'll re-offer the discount if they refuse. You might ask, in the appeal, why the sign was moved back so far, thus making it far less easy to see from the end you parked. Their reply may also provide a means to appeal formally with hope of a win, as councils often shoot themselves in the foot when refusing challenges.


Thank you I really appreciate the response. I will try to upload a photo later of the sign move!

Regards,

Alex
PASTMYBEST
You really don't have a strong case. you are outside the parking time, and obviously not a goods vehicle so no argument re loading.

If there was anything I could see that you might argue, is that the sign caused confusion as to what part of the bay it governed i:e the bay with yellow lines
or the end bit.

Not strong, but you could make an informal challenge if they re offer the discount



https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.9366405,-...3312!8i6656
Alexdm
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Thu, 4 Feb 2016 - 20:28) *
You really don't have a strong case. you are outside the parking time, and obviously not a goods vehicle so no argument re loading.

If there was anything I could see that you might argue, is that the sign caused confusion as to what part of the bay it governed i:e the bay with yellow lines
or the end bit.

Not strong, but you could make an informal challenge if they re offer the discount



https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.9366405,-...3312!8i6656


Seems like they have moved it from here (photographed April 2015)



To my current photo


I guess this was to stop the confusion for which part of the bay the sign governed. It looks like my only real option is to content on the ground that the sign is slightly obstructed by the wall/light from my angle of walking into the shop..
Incandescent
In its old position, it is clear and visible. Clear because it cannot possibly apply to the double-yellow lines, so must apply to the bay to its right. The DYLs need no sign, so there isn't one. Maybe the delivery lorries kept knocking it over !

I would appeal on it and then post up their reply here, before you commit yourself to pay-up.
Alexdm
Hi all,

Just to let you know I sent an e-mail yesterday at 4.30pm challenging the ticket. My e-mail contained the following:

I received a parking ticket on 02/02/2016 but I believe there are mitigating circumstances to explain why I had parked where I did and I would like to submit an appeal for the following reasons:

• There was insufficient signage
I was unable to determine the relevant parking restrictions because there was no clear signage to explain what they were. Please see attached evidence attached in my images.

I was observed for just one minute on entering the Co-operative shop on Durham Road, Low Fell. My car was in an identical positon to the black car from my personal images attached (image1). As you can see from my second image attached (image2), walking into the shop, the signage is extremely disguised by the raised wall and in particular, the wall lamp. This is the first time I have visited the shop and I was not previously aware of any restrictions. Had the sign been directly outside of the bay, this would have been much clearer and readable. As you can see, from my third image attached (image3) as you continue walking into the Co-operative, the sign continues to be unnoticeable.

There are also further questions that I would like to raise as to why the signage was moved from its original position from Google Streetview dated April 2015 (image4) to the wall of the building (image5). In its old position, it is clear and visible, this understandably doesn’t apply to the double-yellow lines and therefore applicable to the bay to the right. With the new position of the sign, I believe that there is a restricted view, particularly for people that park further up the bay, as evidenced in my account.

Finally, it would also have been appropriate to have signage on the tarmac surrounding the bay, for example “loading restrictions” this would have ensured that someone parking in the bay understands that there are restrictions on parking in this bay.

For the reasons and evidence provided above, I look forward to receiving notification that the Penalty Charge Notice has been cancelled within 28 days.

Yours faithfully,



________________________________________________________________________________
__



Today, at 10.30am I received the following response:

I have received your challenge to the above Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), but after reviewing and considering the circumstances I have found no grounds for the cancellation of the PCN.

As you can see from the attached digital image, at the time your vehicle was parked, this bay was restricted to ‘Goods Vehicles Loading Only’ and is clearly marked. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of all the regulations and restrictions in the immediate area, when parking their vehicle.

I note your comment regarding the observation time allowed and can confirm that as your vehicle does not fall under this category, no observation period is required, and a PCN is an instant issue.

You also mentioned that there was ‘insufficient signage’ and you believe there should be markings in the ground. I can confirm that as this is a shared use bay, markings on the ground are not required.

The sign has been moved due to continuous damage caused by motorists however the new signage was positioned in accordance with guidance set by the Traffic Signs and Regulations, General Directions (as amended) which is applicable whilst parking on the highway.



You can still take advantage of the 50% reduction referred to in the PCN by paying the sum of £35.00 within 14 days from 11/02/2016. This discounted rate is no longer available after 14 days and the charge will return to the full charge of £70.00 shown in the PCN if payment is not received here on or before that date. Payment may be made online at www.gateshead.gov.uk/parking or by telephoning 0191 433 7000.

If the charge remains unpaid after a period of 28 days from 11/02/2016, a Notice to Owner will be issued to the person registered with the DVLA as the keeper of the vehicle. This will include details of how to make formal Representations if you disagree with the Council’s decision.

Please note that the formal appeals process is controlled by national Regulations issued by the Government under the Traffic Management Act 2004. Further guidance on the statutory processes involved in the operation of Civil Parking Enforcement can be found on our website at www.gateshead.gov.uk/parking.

Yours sincerely

Parking Services



Not much luck then!
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