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DukeHC
Hi all

I'm new to these forums and would really appreciate some advice - i have searched and couldnt find this done elsewhere, but please point me in the right direction if I am duplicating a thread.

Essentially, I parked in a bay in LB Camden that my passenger had used many times. As they knew the bay number, I paid for it via the Ringgo App - Camden only takes pays by phone, there is no other way to pay - and received confirmation that I had a valid session in place. Upon returning to my car, I had a PCN as the bay was suspended.

I can post my correspondence with LB Camden and Ringgo, but in summary I have so far challenged the PCN on the following grounds:
1) I paid for parking and was advised I had a valid session in place. Therefore I clearly intended to park properly.
2) As I paid by App, there was no obvious need to check the signs (fyi, the App will not take payment 'out of controlled hours'). I assumed that if the bay was not in use, no payment would be taken
3) It did not say anywhere whilst making payment via the App that I should check the signs on the bay as it may not be in use.
4) In making the payment, I effectively advised the Warden that I was parking in a suspended bay, thereby incriminating myself!
5) As 'Pay by Phone' is the only payment method in LB Camden, they have an obligation to make it obvious at the point of payment that the bay is suspended, not just on the parking notice - e.g. where payment is made by cash on site, the council would typically cover up the payment machine or meter when parking is suspended. Nothing equivalent has taken place in this instance

LB Camden have rejected my appeal on the basis that it is my responsibility to ensure that I check the signage. I further challenged them on the basis that they have not taken all reasonable steps to notify the suspension at the point of payment, and they have again rejected this.

So, in short, I believe that whilst it is correct that the bay was suspended, LB Camden and Ringgo - as their appointed agent for handling payment - have not acted properly in making this obvious at the point of payment, which is clearly nowhere close to the point of parking. Also, as I paid for a designated set of parking bays, there is no reason why Ringgo cannot suspend those bays via their app, and the fact they have failed to do so is their issue, not mine.

Finally, in accepting my payment, taking my money from my bank and confirming that I had valid parking in place, when in fact they were not able to offer that service, I contend that LB Camden and/ or Ringgo have committed an act of fraud - i.e. taking money for services not provided.

As it stands, I plan to let this PCN run its course and then appeal the matter in court. At that point, if my appeal is upheld, I will let it go. If I lose the appeal, and am compelled to make the full payment plus court fees, I am then considering whether to take out a counter-claim via the Small Claims Court against LB Camden and Ringgo for committing a fraudelent act.

Can anyone offer me some advice on this case, as it seems absurd that a driver can receive a PCN when having every reason to believe that valid parking is in place!

I will post up the correspondence between myself and LB Camden/ Ringgo for further info.

Thanks for your help,
Howard
DukeHC
THIS POST SHARES THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN MYSELF AND LB CAMDEN ON THIS MATTER

MY First Challenge Letter


Dear Sir/ Madam

I parked my vehicle at the front of the bay away from the parking notices - this is clear from your
own picture evidence. As I had a passenger with regular experience of parking in this area, they
advised me the bay number and to park using Ringgo. I purchased c.2 hours parking via the
Ringgo app and was advised I had parking valid until 11.32 on 17th March 2016. At no point
during the purchase was I advised that the bay was suspended. Upon leaving my vehicle, I
headed immediately into the adjacent school and had no reason to pass or observe the parking
bay notices, on the signpost past the school entrance.

Considering that the only method of payment was through remote means, I consider that you
failed in your obligations to make it clear that the bay was suspended, by accepting and taking
payment and confirming that my parking was valid until 11.32.

Furthermore, because your attendant confirmed to my wife that he was notified that I had paid for
parking in this bay, in making the payment you had effectively allowed me to 'pay to incriminate
myself', which I suggest is reprehensible on your part.

It is quite clear (including from your own evidence) that the following is true:
1) I had parked my vehicle out of immediate sight of the signage
2) I had paid £3.80 for the parking period in good faith and had every reason to believe that I had valid parking
3) that your agents, Ringgo, accepted payment and confirmed that valid parking was in place formy vehicle in that bay
4) in taking my payment without any notification of the suspension of parking, it is clear that you had not taken all necessary actions to make it clear that the bay was suspended
5) the PCN was issued at 10.15, during the valid period that I had purchased parking,

Therefore, given the above, I would respectfully ask you cancel the PCN on this occasion.
Please be advised that if you do not do so, I will certainly be taking the matter further as I contend
that by accepting and taking my payment for the parking period and confirming via the app that I
had valid parking in place, you have acting wholly unreasonably in issuing this PCN.

I look forward to hearing from you and trust that you will also suspend the 14 time period in effect
for making early payment, with immediate effect from today, the 10th day of that period, until such
time that you have responded to this appeal.

Yours faithfully
xxxxxxxxxx

Att:
1) Parking picture showing that at the front of the bay and heading immediately into the adjacent
school, I would not have been able to see the signage, especially given I had no reason to believe
the bay was suspended, since I was able to pay for parking without any notification
2) Proof that valid payment had been made and accepted to park in the bay that you state was
'suspended'. Clear evidence that you had not disabled the ability to pay, nor offered any warnings
at the point of purchase. Also evidence of why I had every reason to believe that I had parked
appropriately.
PS, you have also happily taken the parking payment from my bank account! Unbelievable!!!
Submitted on March 27 2016 at 17:26 2
Supporting evidence
File 1 - Parking Maresfield Gardens.pdf
Submitted on March 27 2016 at 17:26 3
File 2 - Proof of payment (13740).PNG

LB CAMDEN Response:

Dear Mr xxxxx,

Contravention code: 21
Parked wholly or partly in a suspended bay or space

Thank you for your correspondence received on 27/03/2016.

I understand that you are contesting the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) because you state that you did not see the suspension notice, but I have decided to enforce the Notice.

The Civil Enforcement Officer's (CEO) notes indicate that the vehicle was parked in a suspended bay within reasonable distance of a time-plate indicating that the stretch of the bay outside Numbers 1 to 11 inclusive (all bays) was suspended between 14/03/2016 and 18/03/2016 for footway works. When a bay is suspended it is enforced to ensure that the area is kept clear for the purpose of the suspension.

When leaving a vehicle, drivers should always check the restrictions in the bay in which they are parked, including any upcoming suspensions, by consulting the relevant signs. I am satisfied that the signage in the location was sufficient to inform drivers that parking was not permitted. I am not, therefore, prepared to withdraw this PCN. I have attached photographs taken at the time of the contravention for your perusal.

You have explained that you did not see any signs indicating the restriction at the time you parked, however, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the suspension sign was placed on the same post as where the permanent signage associated with this bay is located. Therefore on this basis, I am satisfied that the location of the signage was sufficient to inform motorists of the suspension. According to the photographic evidence available the signage is visible in relation to where you had parked your vehicle on the date in question.

I have noted your comments that you had activated a valid parking session on the date in question and the RingGo app hadn’t notified you that the bay was suspended. However, I must advise you that the app is not able to differentiate whether a vehicle is parked in a suspended bay. While you were able to pay for parking using the app, this does not invalidate the PCN. I must advise that it remains the driver's responsibility to ensure that they have not parked in a suspended bay by checking local signage before leaving the vehicle.

In this instance, I am satisfied that the PCN has been correctly issued and have taken the decision to enforce the charge outstanding.
Given the above I am satisfied a contravention occurred. I have reset the discount charge for 14 days from the date of this letter and will accept payment of £65.00 in settlement if received during that time. After this period the charge will revert to £130.00.

You can pay this charge online at www.camden.gov.uk/pay or you can contact our 24 hour automated payment line on 020 7974 6104.

If you choose not to make payment, we will send the registered keeper of the vehicle a Notice to Owner. This statutory document explains the grounds on which the registered keeper of the vehicle can make formal representations against the issuing of the PCN. I must make clear that the discount period for payment will have expired by the time a Notice to Owner is issued, and the charge will have reverted to the £130.00.

Please also be advised that if the council does reject any formal representations that are made by the registered keeper of the vehicle the registered keeper will have the option of appealing to the Environment and Traffic Adjudicators who are an independent adjudication service.

If you need to write back to us please go to www.camden.gov.uk/contactparking and complete the relevant e-form.


Yours sincerely

G Houghton
Process Officer






My Follow UP Appeal to LB Camden


Dear G Houghton

Thank you for your letter dated 11th April.

Whilst noting the points that you have made, I am afraid I fear you have misinterpreted my submission to you and therefore your response does not satisfactorily address those points.

If I may therefore clarify those points:
1. You, or your appointed agent, sold me parking through the correct (advised) channels and subsequently advised me that I had a valid parking session in place, therefore I did not believe I had any need to check the displayed signage as to whether the bay was in operation. The app clearly stated that the bay was in operation and accordingly allowed me to purchase parking.
2. Camden has chosen to operate a pay by phone system. In doing so, you no longer offer pay and display, or parking meter services. Historically, when these services were in place, and parking was suspended, you would have been obliged to take action to prevent payments being made, typically covering the parking meter or payment machine, rendering it inaccessible and payment impossible. In failing to notify customers using your pay by phone service, you have not fulfilled your obligations of making it clear that parking is suspended. It is clearly insufficient to put signs on a wall, if a customer has no need to view those signs, when the only method of payment is via a different service and no notice is given at the point of purchase.
3. In accepting my payment, I had effectively done your job of notifying you that my vehicle was parked in a suspended bay. Had I have made no payment at all, your wardens would not have known my vehicle was there, unless they had physically checked, whereas my wife was advised by the warden that he already knew our vehicle was there when he came to ticket it. This is as best disingenuous and at worst quite immoral.

So, the facts of this are quite clear:
1. I parked my vehicle with honest intent and having had my payment for parking accepted by you, or your agent, had every reason to believe I had acted correctly.
2. That therefore I had every reason to believe that there was a valid parking session in place for the duration that my vehicle was parked in the above bay.
3. You have failed to make appropriate, or indeed, any efforts to notify customers at the only point of purchase that the bay was not in use.
4. That you, or your agents, have profited from taking my parking payment under false pretences as you, or your agent, were not in a position to take such payment as you were unable to offer the services for which you accepted the payment this is potentially an act of fraud, for which I will consider appropriate action against you should you fail to reconsider
5. That you have acted outside of moral behaviour in allowing me, through the act of making a payment in good faith, to effectively notify you that my vehicle was parked where you argue it should not have been.

I have also provided/ attached the following:
• A letter from Ringgo confirming that there was a valid session in place at the time that you issued the PCN
• A visual image that shows the proximity of where my vehicle was left to the front door of South Hampstead school, which meant I did not need to pass or view the signs you referenced in yourletter.

Furthermore, I would advise that on Saturday 16th April, I parked in Camden bay 13723. Unbeknownst to me, this bay only operates Monday - Fridays, and when I went onto the Ringgo app to make the payment, it made it clear that payment is not possible at this time as it was outside the hours of operation for the bay. Clearly, therefore, you have the ability to do this and
therefore I would welcome an understanding of why you are unable to take similar action on suspended bays or perhaps it is just too much effort that you deem unnecessary?

I would be grateful if you could also advise whether this matter has been tested by the courts, and the outcome of the test case, as I am more than willing to allow this matter to take its course and for an independent judge to decide whether you have a legal obligation to:
1. notify customers of suspension of bays at the point of sale, rather than on a sign away from here payments are transacted
2. disable the ability to take payments â through whatever methods necessarily, regardless how labour intensive at your end - where you are unable to provide the transacted services
3. provide the paid for services where you, or your agent, have accepted payment and confirmed receipt of payment to the customer as well as provided confirmation that a valid session is in place.

I trust you will reconsider your earlier response and confirm that on the basis of the detail above, you are now willing to rescind the above PCN?
I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely
Howard xxxxx

Supporting evidence
File 1 - Parking Maresfield Gardens - Journey from car to school door.pdf
File 2 - PCN Appeal Letter XXXX XXX Maresfield Gardens 2.p


LB Camden Response

Dear Mr XXXXX

Contravention code: 21
Parked wholly or partly in a suspended bay or space

Thank you for your further correspondence received on 17/04/2016.

I note your wish to contest this charge further, however I am satisfied the correct decision was made in our e-mail dated 11/04/2016.

I have noted your comments and understand your main argument against the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is that you made payment via RinGo to activate a parking session against your vehicle and as RinGo did not inform you of the suspension in place and accepted your payment, you have interpreted this as permission to park at the location in question.

However, as my colleague previously informed you, it is the drivers responsibility to ensure, when leaving their vehicle, to check the restrictions in the bay in which they are parked, including any upcoming suspensions, by consulting the relevant signs. You have already admitted that you did not check the time plate which referred to the bay in which you parked your vehicle and instead relied on information given to you by your passenger. Had you checked the time plate you would have clearly seen the suspension sign, and having read this you would not have activated a parking session via RinGo as you would have realised the bay was suspended.

All drivers should be aware that it is their responsibility to ensure that they have made themselves aware of any restrictions in force in an area and drive and park their vehicle accordingly. This is advised in the Highway Code.

Given the above I am satisfied a contravention occurred and am continuing with the enforcement of the PCN. As a discretionary measure I have reset the discount charge again for 14 days from the date of this letter and will accept payment of £65.00 in settlement if received during that time. After this period the charge will revert to £130.00.

You can pay this charge online at www.camden.gov.uk/pay or you can contact our 24 hour automated payment line on 020 7974 6104.

If you are still dissatisfied with the decision made may I please advise you to wait for the statutory Notice to Owner to be issued at which time the registered keeper will have the opportunity to submit formal representation about the charge. Please refrain from writing in again until you have received the Notice to Owner as we will not be reconsidering this decision and this will only delay the Notice to Owner from being sent out.

Please also be advised that if the council does reject any formal representations that are made by the registered keeper of the vehicle the registered keeper will have the option of appealing to the Environment and Traffic Adjudicators who are an independent adjudication service.

Yours sincerely

Mr D Williams
Process Officer
John U.K.
QUOTE
As it stands, I plan to let this PCN run its course and then appeal the matter in court. At that point, if my appeal is upheld, I will let it go. If I lose the appeal, and am compelled to make the full payment plus court fees,


No court, just the Tribunal, and no 'court fees' just apllication for costs i certain well-defined circumstances.
But all that is for later.
First give us the date of the Rejection letter (was this rejection of challenge or formal reps? - we need to know where you are in the process as deadlines are all) and then

As usual, for best advice please post up PCN (both sides) and copies (not transcripts) of all correspondence to and from Council

Do not attach docs/photos, but use this method:
Photo or scan. see http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=36858&st=0
for how to do it. I use Tinypic for stage 2 with no problems.
STAGE 1 takes care of resizing. If you use Tinypic for Stage 2, on the left each image in Tinypic is a list of links. Highlight and copy the entire link 'for forums' from the list for each image, and paste each link into your post. Each copied and pasted link will embed a thumbnail link in your post.

Using the attachment method is not advised as it means quickly running out of attachment space.
Redact/obscure personal details, PCN no. Reg No.

Also post up a GSV (Google Street View) link to the location.
LEAVE IN all dates/times; precise location, Contravention code and description.
Mad Mick V
OP---I like your logic ----if the bay is suspended the IT system should recognise this and refuse payment.

If only that were the case, we could have a system (like NHS vacant beds) and RingGo could tell us where the nearest vacant parking place is--(don't worry about the queue of cars which got there before you and the smirking g*t who got there first).

But such a system is not in place for vacant bays or suspended bays so your argument fails. It is a default position anyway--I've paid and, regardless of signs, there is a contract which must be honoured (the mistake is theirs not mine). Best of luck with that one.

Let's have a look at the docs and sign--they may have made errors.

Mick
DukeHC
Hi Mick

Thanks for your support.

As it happens, Ringgo does offer the service you suggest and will direct you to theroetically unoccupied spaces - only now i know that they are usually unoccupied as they are suspended!!!

I am going to post up the info you have all requested, however, I am not currently going for the technicality - though great if we can find one, i will happily take it.

My point is exactly the one you make - LB Camden/ Ringgo have made a contract with me, and therefore it is reasonable for me to park there without penalty. Failing that, they have committing an act of mis-selling as they had no ability or intention of providing the services for which they have accepted and taken payment.

As Ringgo is the sole exclusive provider of payment services to drivers parking in LB Camden, there is no excuse for them not being aware of the bays being cancelled, and at the very minimum, the payment process should include a warning to the effect that 'Ringgo cannot validate whether the bay is actually in use and therefore the driver parks at their own liability'. Whilst they may try to claim this in stated deep in their T&C's, this would clearly be an example of an unfair contract accorsing to the Sale of Goods Acts 2015, otherwise it needs to be highlighted prior to taking payment during every transaction. Further, as the sole provider of this service, my contract with Ringgo would become indistinguishable from one with LB Camden, as Ringgo are appointed to act on behalf of LB Camden in these instances.

Also, if they have the technology to allocate parking at numbered bay level - and by time of day - then it is wholly reasonable to expect that they can also be aware of when bays are not in use for other reasons, e.g. suspensions, and therefore temporarily remove the ability to take payments.

In short, I think this whole situation as an absolute disgrace, and frankly want to fight it on principle.

I have a receipt from Ringgo. I had a notification that confirmed I had a 'parking session in place, I have a PCN. Disgraceful.
DukeHC
Posting all the requested below - (I am sorry if they are not correctly displayed, I couldnt work out how to do that on Tinypic):













GoogleStreetview of parking location: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.5463581,-...3312!8i6656

A nearby parking sign showing parking can only be made by phone - no other method possible
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.5463696,-...3312!8i6656

So essentially my question is as follows:
1) Do i have grounds to challenge this PCN based upon the fact that i had purchased a parking session and had it confirmed and that Camden ought to make it clear at the point of purchase that parking may be suspended?
2) Are there any other grounds to challenge the PCN - i.e. technicalities?
3) If there are no grounds to challenge the PCN, should I pay it, and then take Ringgo to the Small Claims Courts for mis-selling and fraud as they have taken payment for inventory that they do not own and should not have sold?

Look forward to your help,
Thanks
H
Mad Mick V
I can't see any errors in the documentation and would recommend payment.

We are not dealing with contract law here therefore it would be nigh on impossible to convince an adjudicator of your ground.

In essence you drove into a suspended parking place which appears to have been properly signed and parked where there was a prohibition and that's all an adjudicator will see. The fact that you paid by phone would be treated as mitigation which an adjudicator cannot rule on.

Your basic argument is little different from a permit holder who maintains that he paid for the permit to use a parking space and, by Jove, he will park there regardless of the traffic laws.

I can't see a win here.

Mick
hcandersen
OP, in the vast amount of narrative I cannot see that you've addressed a key part of their argument: the extent of the suspension within the bay.

Their reasoning as regards countering your argument that Ringo should not allow payment is that NOT ALL of the parking place with this unique identifier was suspended. And in this they are quite correct - the same would apply if there was a m/c which, for example, governed more than one parking place, only one of which was suspended - which poses the question: who's correct?

Was the whole of the parking place with this Ringo identifier suspended?
DukeHC
hcandersen, yes, the whole bay was suspended.

mick, thank you for your guidance. In essence, it sounds like you would be directing towards my third option, i.e LB Camden have acted correctly, but then Ringgo cannot take money for inventory that they cannot provide - surely this WOULD come under contract law and therefore Ringgo could be held in breach of contract, having accepted payment and confirmed the services.
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