Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: PCN 06 - Brent - parking meter inaccessible
FightBack Forums > Queries > Council Parking Tickets & Clamping and Decriminalised Notices
j-st
My wife recently received a parking ticket in Brent - she was unable to pay for parking as the machine was inaccessible, cordoned off by building works, and there were no other machines available.
There was also no indication on the signs that it was possible to pay via the app, else she would have done so.

Do you believe we have grounds to contest the PCN? 14 day period is up today, so am inclined to do so.






stamfordman
here?

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5515741,-0....3312!8i6656

See if there are council pics on Brent's site. The signs on street view say 'pay at machine'. You can see on the side of the machine a location code for an app but I guess you can't read it all from there.

you must challenge this.
j-st
Thanks, yes that's correct, just a touch further down.

Yes, the sign as photographed by the CEO (and parked directly outside) states "pay at machine" with an arrow pointing in the direction of said machine, which was inaccessible.
I will challenge, but is there a particular angle I should be taking here?

My wife didn't even notice the app location code at the time, which isn't a surprise (else she would have paid this way) - I only picked up on it when studying the picture.
PASTMYBEST
For your informal challenge just tell it as it is and copy of that photo They will come back and tell you you could have paid by phone or used another machine or not parked at all. Lets see what sort of hash they make of their response before going hammer and tongue
stamfordman
QUOTE (rosturra @ Mon, 25 Jun 2018 - 13:11) *
hammer and tongue



Now that's painful. PMB knows how to make them squeal.
hcandersen
The driver knew they were parked in a parking place and sought the relevant traffic sign which stated:

** exactly what it states***

They had the necessary funds to pay the parking charge, both cards and cash, and followed the arrow in order to purchase a ticket but found that the only relevant machine was inaccessble, see the CEO’s photo. They were therefore prevented from purchasing a ticket. The driver put a note to this effect in their car, see photo.

Given the above, the motorist believes that the contravention did not occur.

If the authority reject these grounds, then the motorist believes that the authority should exercise discretion.


Change the person in which you write as suits.

However you play this, make sure the challenge accepts that in principle the payment of the parking charge was due but the driver was prevented for the reasons set out.
j-st
thanks, yep its a bit ridiculous. have challenged, let's see what comes back.
DancingDad
Particularly like the sign on corner of Station and Montrose
https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5517467,-0....3312!8i6656
Nothing on signs (on streetview) to show any other method of payment but machine.
Unless council have slipped in some signs specifying pay by phone, cannot see losing this one.
j-st
Well, surprise surprise the challenge was rejected.... No indication my wife could may by phone (except on the inaccessible machine). And clearly the sign on the machine "explaining the rules" as highlighted below was also inaccessible...

Surely I stand a good chance if formally challenging? Frankly this is ridiculous.

Thank you for writing to us regarding the above Penalty Charge Notice.
We have carefully considered what you say but we have decided not to cancel your Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
You were issued a Penalty Charge Notice for not having a Pay & Display ticket that was both valid and clearly displayed. Even if you have a Pay & Display ticket, you have to display it so that a Civil Enforcement Officer can see all its details. You were also able to pay for parking by mobile phone; however, the Civil Enforcement Officer’s handheld computer showed no valid pay-by-phone period.
You are not allowed to park without paying. If a ticket machine is faulty, you must use another machine or pay by RingGo. A sign on the Pay & Display machine explains this. If you are not able to pay you must park in an alternative location.

The enclosed photos help to show why your Penalty Charge Notice was issued.
You have these choices:
• You may pay the reduced charge of £40.00 if your payment reaches us within 14 days of the date of this letter.
• You may pay £80.00 within 28 days of the date your PCN was issued.
• You may formally challenge your PCN by using a Notice to Owner form. The vehicle's owner will automatically receive the form if the PCN has not been paid within 28 days of being issued. The form offers you the chance to formally challenge or pay the full £80.00. If you decide to formally challenge, please do not write to us again but wait until the Notice to Owner form arrives.
DancingDad
Post up your challenge to them please.
I assume that you detailed the lack of access to the machine ?
Which gives rise to a failure to consider, what you have is a simple template that bears no relation to what we have seen.
cp8759
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Mon, 2 Jul 2018 - 09:57) *
Post up your challenge to them please.
I assume that you detailed the lack of access to the machine ?
Which gives rise to a failure to consider, what you have is a simple template that bears no relation to what we have seen.

+1, show us the text of your reps and their rejection, but from what we know so far it looks like a case you're likely to win.
j-st
Hi all,

So we received the Notice to Owner a few weeks ago now (dated 18 July) so I have a few days to respond.

Unfortunately I haven't got the text of the informal challenge, however I made points along the lines of intending to follow the sign to the letter (i.e. "Pay at Meter", with an arrow pointing to the meter, and "display ticket on car") - with the meter being inaccessible (photo provided) and no other meter visible, and no other means of payment highlighted on the sign.

Initial letter of rejection has wording as per my previous post. Notice to Owner simply says
"On <date> a PCN was served by a civil enforcement officer XXXXX on the above vehicle for the following alleged contravention: 06, Parked withoutclearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket or voucher" before providing details of time/location


i was looking to challenge on the grounds of having both the intention and means to pay, but being unable to do so given the status of the machine. Though grateful for any help with with useful wording to include!
The only slight fly in the ointment is that in my wife's photo of the machine, one can just about see RingGo details on the side. My wife didn't notice this at the time (she was just concerned she couldn't access the machine). clearly had she done so she would have paid. And clearly had the sign indicated this means of payment she would have paid. But not sure if this will be used against her.

Edit: Just noticed on their initial rejection it says " If a ticket machine is faulty, you must use another machine or pay by RingGo. A sign on the Pay & Display machine explains this" - which is all well and good if the machine is accessible...
stamfordman
Post the council's pics.
hcandersen
Deleted
PASTMYBEST
You leave us little time to help. If you get nothing back from others, ( I am unable to do much ATM) then send reps as per your challenge.


could not access machine no visible instructions to PBP or use another machine A good appeal to the adjudicator can be made but we need some time
DancingDad
Dear Sirs
REf PCN ????
Contravention did not occur
Upon parking I/wife/whoever followed the Pay Here signs to the payment machine.
To find it was behind fencing, totally inaccessible with no alternative means of payment readable from outside the fence.
Photo attached
I could see no alternative machines nearby.
I left a note on the screen which your CEO photographed.
Given that means to pay was totally inaccessible and no alternatives were shown, to penalise someone for failing to pay is simply ridiculous.
The authority failed to make means of payment available, any PCN cannot be enforced in those circumstances.
To do so would be wholly unreasonable.

Procedural Impropriety, Failing to Consider
This was explained within my informal challenge.
The rejection made no mention of the hidden machine nor anything more then bland advice to use alternative means to pay.
This totally fails to consider the failings of the council to ensure that either the machine was available or that alternatives were clearly shown.
Failing in a statutory duty is a procedural impropriety and grounds alone to cancel the PCN.

Should you disagree with any of the above, I ask that you consider the impossible circumstances that any motorist parking and trying to pay would face and use your discretion to cancel the PCN
Hugs and Kisses
j-st
All pics are as follows. 9 of them are on the Brent website. Interestingly the 10th (final) pic (rear of car, 10:15:23) was on the initial rejection but not the Brent parking website.

3 pics on the initial rejection: Ones taken at 10:17:10; 10:17;24 and 10:15:23
2 pics on the Notice to Owner: ones taken at 10:17:10; 10:17:14

There is no clear pic of the sign directly behind the car, though there is enough to see that what it says is consistent with Google Streetview (i.e. pay at machine etc). Also to note the "location marker" on the Brent website is on the wrong side of the road.

Thanks for your help and apologies for leaving it so late...!














hcandersen
What did the traffic sign in the parking bay require?

Assuming it’s *******, pay at machine, display ticket then.....

I parked at the location, noted the requirement of the sign to purchase (from the machine whose location was indicated by an arrow) and display a ticket and, having both cash and a debit card to hand, went to the machine.

I was prevented from purchasing a ticket because, as can be seen in the council’s evidence, the machine was inaccessible as it was situated behind fixed hoardings presumably erected by the building company on the site. As far as the driver could tell, the machine did not carry any (readable) instructions as to what a motorist was supposed to do in these circumstances. In this instance I left a note in my car which can be seen in the council’s photos.

I was issued with a PCN for not displaying a valid ticket. In this respect, I would draw the adj’s attention to the specifics of the stated contravention i.e. not displaying a valid ticket. I mention this because in their defence( see paras***** in the NOR) the authority claim that the driver could and should have paid the parking charge using a pay-by-phone facility. However, this is not a requirement placed upon the motorist by the traffic sign i.e. ‘display ticket’, neither is it referred to in the grounds of the contravention which, as I have said, refer only to not ‘paying and displaying’.

I respectfully submit that the alleged contravention did not occur because the driver was unable to comply with the council’s requirement to display a ticket from this specified machine.
j-st
Thanks, yes the sign was incredibly clear, and simply says "<parking times> Pay at Machine <arrow to machine> Display Ticket"
Any hint of being able to pay by phone my wife would have done so. Though still a bit worried that the RingGo code is just about still visible on the side of the machine (albeit given the circumstances it wasn't noticed)
stamfordman
There is no council pic of machine behind hoardings, that's the OP's, only pic of note in windscreen.

The OP's pic does show the Ringgo sign but clearly the machine was out of bounds.

The parking signs do not refer to pay by phone (or didn't last year):

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5515747,-0....3312!8i6656

stamfordman
Machine is behind a dark mesh - I can't see the details on it really.


Mad Mick V
It is telling that the CEO, who took umpeen photos, missed the ticket machine and the bay sign in those shots.
I have been through a lot of Notices for this street and they refer to P&D, not pay by phone so perhaps the parking places order does not specify PBP. However the critical issue must be the sign and if this does not specify PBP the OP is home and dry because the ticket machine (whatever it's got written on it) is NOT a traffic sign.
I return to the Prendi case which might be of assistance, although it was for a broken ticket machine:-
2100346960
A contravention occurs if a vehicle is parked in an on-street pay and display bay during controlled hours, without clearly displaying a valid pay and display voucher.

There is no dispute that Mr Prendi's vehicle was at this location in Linden Gardens or that the Penalty Charge Notice was issued to it, as shown in the photographs/digital images produced by the Enforcement Authority.

Mr Prendi says that he went to the pay and display machine but it was not working out of order and so he went to look for another machine but there was no other one near. Mr Prendi adds that the next one is over a mile away.

Mr Prendi says that he left a note to this effect in the vehicle. The civil enforcement officer has not recorded details of any note but the images appear to confirm one may have been there.

The Enforcement Authority do not appear to dispute that the pay and display was not working and have produced no maintenance records in this regard. The Enforcement Authority do refer to the signage on the machine, advising the motorist that if 'not working use another machine'.

Whether there is another machine within a reasonable distance will depend on the circumstances and each case will turn on its own facts. However, the Enforcement Authority cannot expect motorists to tramp the streets of their borough trying to find a machine in working order. Going too far away from the parking place may indeed involving entering a different parking zone where, restrictions and charges could differ.

Considering carefully all the evidence before me, I cannot find as a fact that, on this particular occasion, a contravention did occur.

Accordingly, this appeal must be allowed.

Mick
j-st
thanks all, will draft something up later today as a challenge. Can't believe they will continue to pursue what is a quite ridiculous case but let's see
j-st
Draft challenge as follows (will post it later). Thanks for the help above. Worth me getting my own pic of the road sign?

Dear Sirs

I would like to formally challenge the above PCN on the grounds that the alleged contravention did not occur.

As can be seen in one of the photos taken by the CEO (12/06/2018; 10:17:24), the car was parked directly outside of a parking sign. The sign clearly stated the parking restrictions (“Mon – Sat, 8am – 6.30pm…. Max Stay 2 hours; No return within 2 hours”) and then how to pay (“Pay at machine; <right arrow to machine> Display ticket”) . There was no indication whatsoever on the road sign of any alternative means of payment.

I followed the signage closely, and went to pay at the machine indicated, a short walk up the road (and just round the corner onto Montrose Crescent) with both cash and debit card to hand. Unfortunately upon arriving at the machine location, it was fenced off (by two different fences, as indicated in my photo, including a fixed green hoarding) and thus the machine was inaccessible. Therefore, I was unable to make the payment as intended, and as instructed on the parking sign.

I walked up the rest of station grove but there was no other machine available, and upon returning to my car there was no other machine visible in the other direction either, or on the opposite side of the road. I wrote a clear note to indicate why I could not display a valid ticket, and placed it inside my car, as per the CEOs photos.

As indicated by the note, I had both the means and intention to pay. Given that the pay machine (which was the only means of payment indicated on the road sign) was completely inaccessible, and no alternatives were shown, to penalise me for failing to pay is somewhat ludicrous. The authority failed to make means of payment available, and thus any PCN cannot be enforced in those circumstances – to do so would be wholly unreasonable.

The initial rejection to my informal challenge failed to consider the circumstances. It made no mention of the inaccessible machine and even went so far as explaining that “If a ticket machine is faulty, you must use another machine or pay by RingGo. A sign on the Pay & Display machine explains this” when it was very clear that the Pay & Display machine couldn’t be accessed in order to determine this. The rejection did not consider the failings of the council to ensure that either the machine was available or that alternatives were clearly shown. Failing in a statutory duty is a procedural impropriety and grounds alone to cancel the PCN.

Further, there was no indication on the road sign that a pay-by-phone facility was available (and indeed, the instruction to “display ticket” suggested it was not). And finally, the contravention was described as “parked without clearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket or voucher”, so I do not see how the existence of a pay-by-phone facility (again, not indicated) as highlighted on the initial rejection is relevant for the contravention as set out in the original PCN

I therefore respectfully submit that the alleged contravention did not occur because I was unable to comply with the council’s requirement to display a ticket from this specified machine. Please cancel the PCN.

DancingDad
Para 3...add in something to the effect that instructions on the machine were unreadable nor could any Pay by Phone instructions be made out.
I like to see headings as well but adding Procedural Impropriety to first sentence would suffice.
Apart from that gives all is needed
j-st
Appeal rejected. Joy.
Will take it to the tribunal though need to submit PDQ - letter sent 11 Sept so assume I have until tomorrow (Mon 8 Oct) and not Tues 9 Oct?

The rejection again seems to ignore the fact there was no indication whatsoever on the sign that pay by phone was an option...

In terms of additional ammunition, is it worth adding in any of the following
- the fact that my wife was pregnant at the time - ie wasn't going to go on a massive trek to find an operational machine
- her previous parking history - ie printouts from PaybyPhone identifying when she has paid by app to park. This is regularly in Barnet (probably 2-3 times a week) and suggests that when signage is clear, she always pay - and doesn't habitually try to avoid it

Will be annoyed if we're unsuccessful - the PCN was wholly unreasonable



DancingDad
Register the appeal.
Use the salient facts, machine totally inaccessible, no chance of reading instructions for alternative machine or PBP, tried to find alternative machine plus PI in failing to consider..... full evidence to follow.
I suspect Islington will not contest but will take you to the wire before DNCing.
Neil B
QUOTE (j-st @ Sun, 7 Oct 2018 - 21:54) *
letter sent 11 Sept so assume I have until tomorrow (Mon 8 Oct) and not Tues 9 Oct?

Weds 10/10

but just get it registered as DD said. Do it on-line.
stamfordman
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Mon, 8 Oct 2018 - 08:07) *
I suspect Islington will not contest but will take you to the wire before DNCing.



Barmy Brent not Idiotic Islington - I agree I don't expect then to contest this but it's not good that they ignored the cordoned off meter at formal appeal - surely the person writing the rejection saw this.
j-st
thanks, didn't realise could register then submit evidence later. Will do so today.
all a bit silly really.
j-st
submitted appeal and date in the diary.
if any pointers on how to appeal to the common sense of the tribunals body then much appreciated.

i will include details of PaybyPhone payment - she used it to pay for parking the day before and 2 days after in barnet (as well as lots of other days). hopefully tribunals will see this as willingness and ability to pay when it's obvious how to do so

i find the frequent references to RingGo quite amazing when I have repeatedly stated the machine, inc references to RingGo were inaccessible, and its clear that there is no indication of this as a means of payment on the signs.

thanks
j-st
no evidence they've even observed the car for 3 minutes (which seems to be the necessary period according to Brent regs) before slapping a ticket on it.
2mins30 secs from the handheld computer check to a pic with a ticket on it.
worth highlighting in my appeal?

edit: and contradictions: "10:13-10:16" on PCN, "10:13-10:17" on rejection.
j-st
Letter from London Tribunals - I presume this means they've dropped the PCN?!
sneaky - almost as if they knew they didn't have a leg to stand on but did everything they could to get me to pay anyway...

thanks for your help!


The Enforcement Authority has informed the Tribunal that it will not contest your appeal against the
Penalty Charge Notice(s) mentioned above.
The adjudicator has therefore allowed your appeal without considering the evidence or any details of
the case. You are not liable for any further charge(s) and, where appropriate, any amounts already
paid will be refunded by the Enforcement Authority.
If you asked for a personal hearing with the adjudicator it is cancelled and you should not attend.


stamfordman
Yes, as we thought they've finally come to their senses.
DancingDad
I know I predicted a DNC but this is ridiculously fast.
I can only concur with your thoughts that they played a game of bluff knowing they had not a leg to stand on.
This is the sort of thing that annoys me and keeps me on here offering help.
I don't mind councils enforcing parking, am fully aware that many drivers ignore restrictions and then call foul but can never get my head round councils cynically pushing people to pay when it is obvious to anyone that there is no case to enforce.
Sorry, rant over, well done for sticking with it, many cave which is one reason councils push it to the limit.
The other is ineptitude though to apply that in this case assumes that the reviewing council officers were Dumb and Dumber.

If you want to put the boot in, apply to LT for costs, if enforcing on this PCN is not wholly unreasonable, I am not sure what is.
j-st
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 10:07) *
I know I predicted a DNC but this is ridiculously fast.
I can only concur with your thoughts that they played a game of bluff knowing they had not a leg to stand on.
This is the sort of thing that annoys me and keeps me on here offering help.


absolutely, I hadn't even submitted any additional evidence as part of the appeal...
thanks for your help

QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 10:07) *
If you want to put the boot in, apply to LT for costs, if enforcing on this PCN is not wholly unreasonable, I am not sure what is.


tempted to... though not sure re evidence though - effectively the only "cost" is my time (and frustration, slight distress etc).
hcandersen
almost as if they knew they didn't have a leg to stand on but did everything they could to get me to pay anyway...


"You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment" biggrin.gif

Incandescent
QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 11:40) *
almost as if they knew they didn't have a leg to stand on but did everything they could to get me to pay anyway...


"You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment" biggrin.gif

It's called "gaming the system", and far too many councils are playing it.
cp8759
QUOTE (j-st @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 10:21) *
absolutely, I hadn't even submitted any additional evidence as part of the appeal...

This is what you must highlight in your costs application. Claim four hours at £19 per hour, total £72. Post a draft of your application here before sending it to the tribunal but don't delay, you only have 14 days from the date of the decision.
DancingDad
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 13 Oct 2018 - 00:31) *
QUOTE (j-st @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 10:21) *
absolutely, I hadn't even submitted any additional evidence as part of the appeal...

This is what you must highlight in your costs application. Claim four hours at £19 per hour, total £72. Post a draft of your application here before sending it to the tribunal but don't delay, you only have 14 days from the date of the decision.

Use the DNC as a lever, For the council to DNC when the only change to anything submitted was to register an appeal begs the question why did they not cancel at an earlier stage, the defence, ie that the payment machine was totally inaccessible, has not changed.
If the defence is strong enough to cancel without any ado at appeal stage it was surely strong enough to cancel at Formal, Notice to Owner and Informal stages. For the council to pursue then cancel when faced with an adjudicator looking at the case is evidence that they have acted wholly unreasonably in serving and pursuing this PCN.
cp8759
Serving the PCN was unreasonable, but probably not wholly unreasonable. Rejecting informal reps might also not be wholly unreasonable as the tribunal has (rightly or wrongly) held that informal reps will be dealt with by relatively junior staff. However to reject at the formal reps stage, when all the evidence was laid out, is wholly unreasonable, the fact that they DNC'ed is only there to corroborate the fact that the previous decision (not to cancel at the formal reps stage) was itself wholly unreasonable.

But the decision to DNC in itself is reasonable, in fact it may well have been the only reasonable course of action they had left.

So it's only the decision not to cancel at the formal reps stage that is wholly unreasonable. Because of the nuances involved you should not submit an application for costs without letting us check first.

It's very difficult to get a costs order, but it is doable in this case if it is worded correctly.
j-st
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 13 Oct 2018 - 00:31) *
QUOTE (j-st @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 10:21) *
absolutely, I hadn't even submitted any additional evidence as part of the appeal...

This is what you must highlight in your costs application. Claim four hours at £19 per hour, total £72. Post a draft of your application here before sending it to the tribunal but don't delay, you only have 14 days from the date of the decision.


is the £19 (or £18?) a "fixed hourly charge" for claims of this nature? Or am I free to propose whatever I believe to be an appropriate charge for my time?!

thanks
cp8759
QUOTE (j-st @ Tue, 16 Oct 2018 - 13:27) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sat, 13 Oct 2018 - 00:31) *
QUOTE (j-st @ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 - 10:21) *
absolutely, I hadn't even submitted any additional evidence as part of the appeal...

This is what you must highlight in your costs application. Claim four hours at £19 per hour, total £72. Post a draft of your application here before sending it to the tribunal but don't delay, you only have 14 days from the date of the decision.


is the £19 (or £18?) a "fixed hourly charge" for claims of this nature? Or am I free to propose whatever I believe to be an appropriate charge for my time?!

thanks

It's a fixed rate based on the litigant in person allowance provided for in the Civil Procedure Rules. It's £19 per hour, not £18. If you can evidence that you suffered a higher loss you can claim a higher amount, but this is next to impossible because in practice, even if you're paid more than £19 an hour in your day job, you would have to evidence that you took unpaid leave to deal with the PCN (which seems intrinsically unlikely).
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2019 Invision Power Services, Inc.