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jenjnif
Hi all,

I have been reading various peoples parking ticket issues for a while and am having trouble discerning whether my challenge is valid.

I have my car parked near my flat in London most of the time and very rarely move it. I went out on the morning of 16 December to find a code 21 parking ticket on it from the previous day (15 December). I have three photos from the council which show a suspended bay sign and two of my car parked. I have no idea when the sign went up and did not see any other signs at the ends of the road. I do not walk up the road to check for signs everyday and so missed it. It may have just gone up that morning. In the photos it is clear that all the bays are full and no one else saw the sign either! I have a valid parking permit for the area and got no leaflets or notice of any suspensions in the area.

I don't feel I should have to pay but I have to contest this in the next couple of days before the fee goes up. I have seen a few replies with the mammoth anorak argument but have to say I just don't understand it at all and felt I should get some advice before writing something in haste to the council and getting nowhere.

Thanks very much in advance for your help.

Jen
stamfordman
Post the PCN. This is Tower Hamlets I presume? The suspension sign doesn't look right to me but experts will be along.

It also says your car will be removed, which it wasn't. It's doubtful that any work went on.

Unfortunately councils can put these signs up with little notice although 5 days is supposed to be good practice I think. But the logic of fining a resident when the idea is that the car shouldn't have been there escapes me.

I think there may be good grounds for appeal.
PASTMYBEST
This will boil down to advance warning of the suspension. If you live nearby and did not receive any you would have a case, but the council will not submit you would have to risk the full penalty at adjudication
jenjnif
Thanks very much for your message. The notice is attached. I am very glad it wasn't removed, was lucky in that respect. I don't think anything happened there during the day.

jenjnif
And yes, Tower Hamlets smile.gif
PASTMYBEST
QUOTE (jenjnif @ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 - 16:38) *
And yes, Tower Hamlets smile.gif



Did you get a leaflet through your door advising you of the suspension? or any other form of advance notice
jenjnif
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 - 16:46) *
QUOTE (jenjnif @ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 - 16:38) *
And yes, Tower Hamlets smile.gif



Did you get a leaflet through your door advising you of the suspension? or any other form of advance notice


I didn't get anything through my door or any other notice. I had absolutely no idea about it until I found the parking ticket on the 16 December.
PASTMYBEST
Let's see the PCN and council photos please
jenjnif
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 - 17:55) *
Let's see the PCN and council photos please


Thanks so much. I have attached the PCN to this. Are the council photos visible on my first post? If not, I will attach them again. I should have been more specific, the photos attached are their photos, not mine.
Incandescent
You have a reasonable case, so if you're prepared to stand your ground, take them all the way. I'm sure you realise this would be a 'double-or-quits' gamble, whereas the discount is a certainty. However it will take weeks to get to London Tribunals, (assuming the council don't give way), so plenty of time to save up the extra £65 if you lose.

I have to say, though, that if you're going to keep a car on the street in London and hardly use it, and only seldom check it, you're going to be vulnerable to this sort of thing. Even if you win it is a real nuisance, so my advice is to check more frequently. All London councils now rely on PCN income, not just council tax, so don't go out of their way to make things easy for motorists.
jenjnif
QUOTE (Incandescent @ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 - 22:19) *
You have a reasonable case, so if you're prepared to stand your ground, take them all the way. I'm sure you realise this would be a 'double-or-quits' gamble, whereas the discount is a certainty. However it will take weeks to get to London Tribunals, (assuming the council don't give way), so plenty of time to save up the extra £65 if you lose.

I have to say, though, that if you're going to keep a car on the street in London and hardly use it, and only seldom check it, you're going to be vulnerable to this sort of thing. Even if you win it is a real nuisance, so my advice is to check more frequently. All London councils now rely on PCN income, not just council tax, so don't go out of their way to make things easy for motorists.



Thanks very much for your help. That is good to hear. Is it not the case that they allow you to pay the reduced fee until they have given you an answer or is that just for the initial challenge? I will see what their response is once I have put something together to send them.

Until very recently I was using the car every weekend to drive out to the country but I have just purchased a more suitable vehicle so at the moment it is a sitting duck! I have been checking daily since the ticket, another one would not be a welcome Christmas present!

What would you suggest my grounds would be? Incorrect signage? Seems they don't legally have to give any notice, which seems unacceptable! Must be a lottery to go away for holidays!

Thanks again.

Jen
stamfordman
QUOTE (jenjnif @ Fri, 23 Dec 2016 - 10:42) *
Is it not the case that they allow you to pay the reduced fee until they have given you an answer or is that just for the initial challenge? What would you suggest my grounds would be? Incorrect signage? Seems they don't legally have to give any notice, which seems unacceptable! Must be a lottery to go away for holidays!



No, if you pay the discount that ends the proceedings. The next step is you either pay the discount and forget about it or make a representation - they will almost certainly reoffer the discount if you do make a rep and they reject it, so this is well worth doing.

I would say to them that as a permit holder (and probably a council tax payer) you would expect a higher duty of care towards you in informing you of a suspension given that like a lot of people you don't use your car every day, and that if it was so important why wasn't your car removed as the sign says - in case which the council has extra duty to keep you informed if it intends to remove cars.

I would ask them when the sign went up too as you would have noticed it with more warning.

I'm not sure the sign is compliant - it doesn't even say the name of the borough.
jenjnif
Something along these lines?

I would like to challenge the PCN left on my car on 15 December 2016 on the grounds of insufficient notice and signage. There is no evidence of when the sign was put in place, no other sign of anything going on in the road on that day. As a local resident and council tax payer with two parking permits I would expect a higher duty of care informing me of the suspension and if they intend to remove cars or charge additional parking charges.

The signage states that any vehicles left there will be removed so I suggest no work was actually carried out in the area? There were no other signs that I am aware, no leaflets through doors, no emails, no other notice whatsoever.

Could you let me know what your current procedures are in terms of informing people of suspended bays and what time the sign went up? The sign is non-compliant with current laws. There is no borough name (not quite sure why else)
jenjnif
This is what I came up with. Sending tomorrow (28th) morning. Any input very welcome smile.gif


To whom it may concern,

I would like to challenge the PCN left on my car on 15 December 2016 on the grounds of insufficient notice and unlawful signage.

Firstly the sign does not even include a borough name, there no evidence of when the sign was put in place and no further notice along the road or at the ends of the road of the suspension. I did not receive a leaflet through the door, no emails, no other notice whatsoever. The signage also states that any vehicles left there will be removed so I suggest no work was actually carried out in the area?

Could you let me know what your current procedures are in terms of informing people of suspended bays, including how much notice you give to local residents, and legally what your responsibilities are? I would also like to know according to the law how many signs should be placed for a suspended bay and where they should be placed in the area? Could you send me evidence what time the sign went up and exactly what work was done on this day?

As a local resident and council tax payer with two parking permits I would expect a higher duty of care from Tower Hamlets informing me of any suspensions and whether they intend to remove cars or demand additional parking charges. Finally, could you explain to me how you served your duty to inform local residents of the suspension when it is clearly visible in the photos provided by the council that all the bays in this area were full. No one parked there was remotely aware of any suspended bays as you have failed to inform them.

I expect this fine to be reversed and satisfactory answers given. I do not wish to live in fear that I will time and time again return to my vehicle and find fines that are unlawful and ill affordable.

Regards,

Jennifer Jones
stamfordman
I don't know whether the sign is unlawful but I guess you've got the key things here. If they are going to back down they will do so at this stage based on your indignation more than anything.
jenjnif
QUOTE (stamfordman @ Wed, 28 Dec 2016 - 10:38) *
I don't know whether the sign is unlawful but I guess you've got the key things here. If they are going to back down they will do so at this stage based on your indignation more than anything.



Thanks for your message. I have since got a reply dated 6 January 2016 which I will post here. They have not backed down and have made a few interesting remarks which have obviously sparked response from me! I will be responding to them today.
PASTMYBEST
QUOTE (jenjnif @ Thu, 12 Jan 2017 - 09:40) *
QUOTE (stamfordman @ Wed, 28 Dec 2016 - 10:38) *
I don't know whether the sign is unlawful but I guess you've got the key things here. If they are going to back down they will do so at this stage based on your indignation more than anything.



Thanks for your message. I have since got a reply dated 6 January 2016 which I will post here. They have not backed down and have made a few interesting remarks which have obviously sparked response from me! I will be responding to them today.



Let us see their rejection before you respond irate responses can often be harmful to your case
jenjnif
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Thu, 12 Jan 2017 - 13:53) *
QUOTE (jenjnif @ Thu, 12 Jan 2017 - 09:40) *
QUOTE (stamfordman @ Wed, 28 Dec 2016 - 10:38) *
I don't know whether the sign is unlawful but I guess you've got the key things here. If they are going to back down they will do so at this stage based on your indignation more than anything.



Thanks for your message. I have since got a reply dated 6 January 2016 which I will post here. They have not backed down and have made a few interesting remarks which have obviously sparked response from me! I will be responding to them today.



Let us see their rejection before you respond irate responses can often be harmful to your case


This is their letter. I have already responded as I had to do so very quickly due to going away. I will also attached this. I now have to decide whether to give in and pay in the next couple of days or whether to wait for the NTO and start challenging properly but risk £130 fine.

QUOTE (jenjnif @ Wed, 18 Jan 2017 - 09:37) *
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Thu, 12 Jan 2017 - 13:53) *
QUOTE (jenjnif @ Thu, 12 Jan 2017 - 09:40) *
QUOTE (stamfordman @ Wed, 28 Dec 2016 - 10:38) *
I don't know whether the sign is unlawful but I guess you've got the key things here. If they are going to back down they will do so at this stage based on your indignation more than anything.



Thanks for your message. I have since got a reply dated 6 January 2016 which I will post here. They have not backed down and have made a few interesting remarks which have obviously sparked response from me! I will be responding to them today.



Let us see their rejection before you respond irate responses can often be harmful to your case


This is their letter. I have already responded as I had to do so very quickly due to going away. I will also attached this. I now have to decide whether to give in and pay in the next couple of days or whether to wait for the NTO and start challenging properly but risk £130 fine.



This is their response and my letter I wrote back to them. I now need to decide whether to pay the £65 or whether to go on with the appeal. I only have a couple of days to think about it. Any thoughts would be very welcome.

Thanks,
Jen
hcandersen
In your first post you stated: I have no idea when the sign went up.

What, none at all? Then how could you doubt that it was erected in due time? You would have an idea because this must have been beetween the last time you saw the post on which it was erected and 16th.

You challenged. This was rejected. Your challenge was a mismash of points, requests and allegations. You've now added that the car was broken down and had been for some time, something which you did not mention in your challenge.

Can we try and focus on key points please.

The council's policy is that it will issue PCNs to all vehicles parked in suspension but that the authority must cancel any PCN served on vehicles parked when the signs were erected and which were in the same position when issued with a PCN. (this follows because the personnel who erect the signs might would not necessarily be the CEOs who subsequently issue PCNs and only the authority would have records of the pre-parked vehicles, PCNs and challenges)

My car was parked continuously between *** and 15th. In fact it is still in situ, if it is. And your evidence is?

Therefore, by virtue of the council's policy my PCN must be cancelled.

Over to you OP for your evidence.

You have 2 permits, one for each of your vehicles. Your permits are a matter of record and you would probably claim that you have only used the second vehicle recently. This would be a part of your evidence.

jenjnif
QUOTE (hcandersen @ Wed, 18 Jan 2017 - 12:25) *
In your first post you stated: I have no idea when the sign went up.

What, none at all? Then how could you doubt that it was erected in due time? You would have an idea because this must have been beetween the last time you saw the post on which it was erected and 16th.

You challenged. This was rejected. Your challenge was a mismash of points, requests and allegations. You've now added that the car was broken down and had been for some time, something which you did not mention in your challenge.

Can we try and focus on key points please.

The council's policy is that it will issue PCNs to all vehicles parked in suspension but that the authority must cancel any PCN served on vehicles parked when the signs were erected and which were in the same position when issued with a PCN. (this follows because the personnel who erect the signs might would not necessarily be the CEOs who subsequently issue PCNs and only the authority would have records of the pre-parked vehicles, PCNs and challenges)

My car was parked continuously between *** and 15th. In fact it is still in situ, if it is. And your evidence is?

Therefore, by virtue of the council's policy my PCN must be cancelled.

Over to you OP for your evidence.

You have 2 permits, one for each of your vehicles. Your permits are a matter of record and you would probably claim that you have only used the second vehicle recently. This would be a part of your evidence.


My car was certainly parked in that bay from the 25 November and has not moved since and to my knowledge there was no sign up. I was on holiday for a week from 25 November until 4 December and my car was broken down so it did not then move. The only evidence of this is ringing my mechanic and a video of the problem with the engine. I do not know what other evidence I can give. I do also have two permits, one for each vehicle and have solely used the new vehicle since purchase. I have proof of the permits but obviously cannot prove usage.

Thanks for your help.
hcandersen
This is evidence. Evidence doesn't have to be absolutely conclusive, the legal test here is balance of probabilities.

So now that we have a concise and pertinent argument, you should make it if you want to take the matter further.

Ultimately you might be sitting opposite an adjudicator who on looking you in the eye and hearing the conviction and unwavering nature of your account would find you a credible person and find as a fact that your car was parked before erection of the sign. IMO, the best would be that your appeal would be allowed, the worst a recommendation to the authority to cancel based on the finding of fact.
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