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A couple of weeks ago I woke up to find my hire car missing, turns out it was towed away by Edinburgh council! I thought I was parked in a pay & display bay which wasn't operational until 9:15 not noticing that between 8-9:15 no loading is permitted! I'll summarise the whole story below, whilst rationally it was obviously totally unnecessary to tow the car away I wanted to get some advice on whether there are actually any grounds for appeal or not.

The story:
  • I parked Sunday evening, misreading the signs at night I believed I was fine to park there until the pay and display bay came into operation at 9:15
  • At 9:15 I discovered the car wasn't there. With the benefit of it being day time I re-read the (somewhat confusing!) signs and noticed that no loading was enforced between 8-9.15. At this point I suspected my car had been towed.
  • I was parked where the white van is in the photos attached. For the majority of the day this bay is pay & display. The bay's are totally out of the way of traffic, I can't imagine my parking was causing any impact on traffic flow at all.
  • PCN was issued at 8:18. According to the council representative, car was towed at 8:30.

Originally I thought I might be able to appeal on the two following grounds:
- Less than 30 minutes elapsed between PCN & removal
- Removal of the vehicle was excessive and uncessary.
The more I read though the less convincing these grounds feel to me. I believe the 30 minutes rule probably doesn't apply in this case as for the period in which I was parked pay & display wasn't in operation and it was effectively a yellow line instead.

(When I paid at the pound I tried to get the attendant to confirm in writing the time that the vehicle was removed. They refused and told me it would all be available on the internet. They were lying - I can't access to the council's evidence as it doesn't show up on their website, I assume because I paid the PCN at the time)

In your experience would I have any luck trying to appeal on those (or any other) grounds or would I be fighting a losing battle?


Whatever the situation, you have nothing (other than your personal time) to lose by appealing this all the way to adjudication. You've paid your money already so you can't end up paying more.

Is the location you were parked part of one of Edinburgh's greenway routes?
Mad Mick V
Here's Edinburgh's removal criteria:-

The OP should determine whether there are photos on the Council's website and post up all the removal documents.

The only possible wriggle room that leaps out is the hired vehicle----- in other words whether liability rests with the OP.

This is the usual Act quoted :-

Careful consideration of the documents is necessary.

Can you link us to the location via google street view and confirm whether the signage shown on google is what is currently in place?

Thanks for replies. Here's a link to google street view -,-...3312!8i6656.

Signage is as it is on street view (apart from the parking suspension sign on street view!).

Not a Greenway route as far as I know.


If you were parked where the van is in the photo you posted then I think you should make your primary appeal point that you parked at night in the dark and that the signage lacks clarity since the sign is placed where two parking bays terminate and the arrow included on the sign suggests the restrictions apply to the left side of the sign. Also point out that had all the restrictions been conveyed in accordance with paragraph 7.51 from the DfT Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 3 you would have better understood what restrictions were in place and in what directions. (I know the contravention is for the yellow markings but the bays and set up contribute to the lack clarity in my opinion).

7.51 Where two different parking bays are side
by side (e.g. a loading bay adjacent to a disabled
badge holder bay), consideration should be given to
mounting two signs side by side, preferably on a grey
backing board, at the changeover point. Each sign
should include an arrow pointing in the direction of
the respective bay. This should minimise the risk of
drivers parking in the wrong bay by mistake and
incurring a penalty.

I then suggest you include the legal arguments I've attached so that if it goes to adjudication the adjudicator will hopefully allow the appeal on the signage issue just to avoid the effort needed to consider the complex legal issues.
Bogsy - I wasn't parked where the van is was actually parked in the empty parking bay to the left of the car. Does that undermine the argument or not?

Also I have attached the council's evidence which I got emailed to me today. An interesting thing that I noticed is that the sign that they have taken a picture of is the wrong one. They've taken a picture of the sign outside of Costa for the no-loading bay but I was actually parked in the adjacent pay & display bay. They should have taken a picture of the sign behind the pay & display meter. Is this significant? Can I use this mistake as part of an appeal, if so how?


If they have submitted false evidence, (photo of the wrong sign), it should be fatal to their case, but the adjudicator will decide when you submit your evidence and point this out.
Can the council submit additional evidence to the adjudicator or will the adjudicator only look at these photos?

Edinburgh council is cash-strapped mainly due to incompetence. Their incompetence is on display here as by photographing the wrong sign they'll likely lose revenue that was probably rightfully gained. I've had four tickets cancelled for similar reasons

I do agree the removal of the car was unnecessary - the bit of road you parked in is unusable for driving due to the protruding bus stop - but it is in line with their procedure.

Re the confusing signs - I walk through Morningside (next to Bruntsfield and same regulations) nearly everyday and often have to tell people they'll get a ticket if they park there after 16.30 - even with their blue badge.
John U.K.
Can the council submit additional evidence to the adjudicator or will the adjudicator only look at these photos?

IF (big IF!)Scottish procedure is similar to London Tribunals, you submit to the Tribunal in advance your case setting out why the Adjudicator should allow your appeal (which may include supporting evidence - photos, maps, qoutes from previous cases etc as well as additional points not raised in your reps to Council).
The Council will submit to the Tribunal an 'Evidence Pack' which will include a summary attempting to rebut your case and say why they think your Appeal should be dismissed. You should have a copy of this in advance giving you a chance to consider it.

The Adjudicator will look at your case (submissions and evidence), look at the Council's Evidence Pack, at a personal hearing will allow you to highlight points and answer his questions to you, and likewise for the Council should they choose to send someone along.
And don't expect a prompt reply, Procrastination seems to be the watchword for the Scottish adjducator. Once case was over 12 months waiting a decision. Justice it ain't !

I sent representations back to the council and have now received their reply (rejecting them...). I've attached my representations as well as their response

I'd be keen to think of what people think of the council's response and how strong their case is.

I've got a few quick questions:
1) Should I appeal? Do I have a good case? Is there any chance at all that I could end up having to pay costs etc
2) If I were to go ahead with the appeal what sort of thing should I write in the 'details of appeal' section. By and large I feel I've covered everything I want in my initial representations, is there a standard sort of thing you should write specifically for the appeal?


I suggest you use the attached appeal letter if you have nothing better to submit. On the surface it seems the contravention did occur so you need to engineer a situation where an adjudicator might just accept the poor signage mitigation. The complex legal arguments wold take some time and effort to counter so the adjudicator might just take the easy option and allow your appeal on the signage mitigation. Just like us, adjudicators like an easy day at work.
Don't see much wrong with your challenge. Bogsy may well want to add to it for appeal.

What is the date of the notice of rejection?
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