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Scorpio7
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum - just joined. biggrin.gif

I received a PCN by CCTV showing my car parked on a taxi rank on Sunday 21 June 2009 at 18.14. I had to make an emergency stop as my 2 year old daughter was sick in the back of the car. I left my wife (who was heavily pregnant) with my daughter in the car for 2 mins so that I could get some tissues from the nearby take-away shop.

Under the circumstances, at the time I did not see the sign that said 'no parking at any time except taxis', but it is there. However, it is located right next to a bus stop, and you cannot see it clearly as you approach in the car. I have appealed to Enfield council on the grounds of mitigating circumstances, but they have rejected my appeal as expected.

I watched the video evidence at Enfield council and it shows my car parked in the taxi rank space with me getting out. The taxi rank box yellow road markings seem in order to me, as does the sign for 'no parking at any time except taxis' and the PCN itself. There are some signs in the area about traffic enforcement cameras being in operation, but these are not very near to the said camera.

I asked the council for the TRO - they said it is correct i.e. 'no parking at any time except taxis' at that location. I can inspect it in person at the council if required.

As I am currently out of work, I asked the council to delay payment at the lower fine of 50 pounds, and they accepted (due by 31 October 2009).

Is it worth me appealing to PATAS on the basis of mitigating circumstances, no prominent CCTV signage near the camera and also not having seen 'no parking at any time except taxis' sign.

I can attach the PCN & other photos I took of the area if required so please let me know. But being a newbie, please be patient as I figure out how to do this... blush.gif

Thanks for your help.
dave-o
QUOTE (Scorpio7 @ Thu, 10 Sep 2009 - 12:18) *
I asked the council for the TRO - they said it is correct i.e. 'no parking at any time except taxis' at that location. I can inspect it in person at the council if required.



Haha! Of course they did. Check it yourself!

Show us the PCN and pictures of the signs and markings at the location.
jufair
Make sure you take pics of the TAXI Bay and note what is written in yellow along the edge of the bay, and both end markings.
It should say TAXIS not TAXI.
Scorpio7
I can also show you the council's rejection letter - please let me know if required. Thanks.

Here are pictures of the PCN with the council's CCTV photos, plus some of my own photos of the road:

PCN & CCTV photos (the original CCTV photos are alot clearer than the ones posted here-sorry)






My photos:




dave-o
Here's the diagram:



First thoughts:
-Roadside gaps are not 600mm
-Lettering is more than 150mm from the bay
-Does it say "Taxi"? not "Taxis"?
-Lettering looks a bit strange, but could be the angle. Can you get some shots from directly above?

Sign diagram:



Looks OK.
Scorpio7
Does the 'no parking at any time except taxis' sign and/ or the yellow taxi rank box actually need to show in the CCTV photos to be valid? When I viewed the CCTV video at the council, the CCTV camera zoomed in to show my number plate & also showed the taxi rank yellow box close up clearly... sad.gif


Also, I saw this CCTV (security?) camera sign near (approx 10-20m) to the CCTV camera itself:


Another different CCTV traffic enforcement camera sign is approx 100-200m further along in the same road where the said taxi rank is:
Scorpio7
Here's is another photo of the taxi rank box if it helps:


Note: In this photo, you can also see that the lamp post with the 'no parking at any time except taxis' sign also has another blue licence sign for 'stand for 2 taxis' (but it faces against traffic flow..)
Scorpio7
QUOTE (dave-o @ Thu, 10 Sep 2009 - 12:38) *
QUOTE (Scorpio7 @ Thu, 10 Sep 2009 - 12:18) *
I asked the council for the TRO - they said it is correct i.e. 'no parking at any time except taxis' at that location. I can inspect it in person at the council if required.



Haha! Of course they did. Check it yourself!

Show us the PCN and pictures of the signs and markings at the location.



Just to let you know, I inspected the Traffic Management Order (TMO) at Enfield Council this afternoon. It confirms that for the taxi rank in question, it is 'no parking at any time except taxis'. sad.gif

By the way, what is the difference between a Traffic Regulations Order (TRO) & a TMO?
dave-o
They are the same thing.
Anorak
You should have also checked the order's articles to see if it included a clause where it advises something similar to

Nothing in articles 80, 81, 82, 83, 90, 91, 97, 98, 99 and 100 shall render it unlawful to cause
or permit a vehicle to wait in a restricted road or parking place for so long as may be necessary
where the driver is required by law to stop or being prevented from proceeding by circumstances
beyond their control or in order to avoid an accident.

All orders I have seen contain a clause just like this.

Therefore due to the circumstances you faced that day you are entitled to claim this exemption and the council should cancel the PCN. Unfortunately most councils believe you are guilty until proven innocent but an adjudicator would not and if both you and your wife submit written statements confirming you pulled over due to your child being sick and that you had to assesss the seriousness of the childs health before moving and that you had to fetch tissues as the child was distressed and unhygenic I'm certain an adjudicator would agree that the exemption applies.

If you bought any medicine or if a doctors visit was around that time then this will be helpful evidence. If not don't worry as most adjudicators do not require this and accept a person's word. A personal or telephone hearing though would make the difference. It's all very informal and takes little time or effort.
Scorpio7
QUOTE (dave-o @ Thu, 10 Sep 2009 - 14:13) *
Here's the diagram:



First thoughts:
-Roadside gaps are not 600mm
-Lettering is more than 150mm from the bay
-Does it say "Taxi"? not "Taxis"?
-Lettering looks a bit strange, but could be the angle. Can you get some shots from directly above?


Hi,

I took some more photos today of the taxi rank road markings (more to follow in separate post with tape measure). You are right, the measurements are not in accordance with the diagram you have attached.
The lettering "TAXIS' in both cases is more than 150mm from the edge of the yellow box (in one case it is more like 300mm). Also the roadside gaps in the lines are less than 600mm (more like 450mm).

Is this valid grounds for my letter of appeal to PATAS? Or should I emphasise the true mitigating circumstances point that I had to stop in an emergency situation (baby was sick, covered by exemption to TMO - see separate post)? Or both? huh.gif

I am conscious I need to send my appeal to PATAS asap as the council's letter of rejection was dated 18 August and I have 28 days from then to appeal to PATAS.

Thanks again to all for the much appreciated advice!

PHOTOS:

Photos of taxi rank markings:








dave-o
I don't think the bay marking errors are that strong alone, but you never know.

If you make an appeal, put both the technical problems and your mitigating circumstances. Councils often cancel, citing your mitigating circumstances, as they do not want the technical issues going before an adjudicator, therefore calling into question all past and future PCNs at the location.

If they refuse you should get an extended discount period so you can decide if you want to take it further.

I'm not 100% on this, but the TMO says "No parking at any time" whereas the sign says "no stopping". There is a difference, and your story would fall into the "stopping" category IMO. Perhaps another member could comment.
Scorpio7
Here are some more photos of the taxi rank markings with tape measure alongside:






I also inspected the TMO again today at Enfield Council.
It does contain a clause that exceptions to the parking restrictions apply if the police/ law requires you to park in the taxi rank, or to avoid an accident (NB. it does not mention 'or other circumstances beyond your control').

Do you think my situation may be valid under the 'avoiding accident' clause? I can explain to the adjudicator in person if required at a hearing that it is quite distracting, as well as a worry for the parents, when your young baby is vomiting in the back of the car whilst you are driving!)

Annoyingly, the council officer would not let me take a photo of the TMO. Photocopies were being charged at nearly 6 pounds for 4 pages! blink.gif
Scorpio7
QUOTE (dave-o @ Fri, 11 Sep 2009 - 13:35) *
I don't think the bay marking errors are that strong alone, but you never know.

If you make an appeal, put both the technical problems and your mitigating circumstances. Councils often cancel, citing your mitigating circumstances, as they do not want the technical issues going before an adjudicator, therefore calling into question all past and future PCNs at the location.

If they refuse you should get an extended discount period so you can decide if you want to take it further.

I'm not 100% on this, but the TMO says "No parking at any time" whereas the sign says "no stopping". There is a difference, and your story would fall into the "stopping" category IMO. Perhaps another member could comment.


Note: I have already negotiated an extended discount period with Enfield Council (50 pounds until 31 October). I have also checked with PATAS - if I do appeal to PATAS within 28 days from 18 August, apparently the discount is waived and the 100 pound fine will apply if my appeal gets rejected, which I can do without as I am out of work at the moment. I'm not sure what to do... wacko.gif
dave-o
I'm not sure what to advise here. It's not a cast-iron case. However, you may get lucky and the council will mess something up with your NOR, or you may find that they do not wish to attend a personal adjudication on a saturday morning. You may get a sympathetic adjudicator.

They are correct that if you fight and lose you will have to pay the full £100. Scandalous but true.

It really is your call. It's probably 50/50.
Scorpio7
QUOTE (dave-o @ Fri, 11 Sep 2009 - 14:04) *
I'm not sure what to advise here. It's not a cast-iron case. However, you may get lucky and the council will mess something up with your NOR, or you may find that they do not wish to attend a personal adjudication on a saturday morning. You may get a sympathetic adjudicator.

They are correct that if you fight and lose you will have to pay the full £100. Scandalous but true.

It really is your call. It's probably 50/50.


I assume the fact the CCTV video/ photo evidence does not show the 'no stopping at any time except taxis' sign is irrelevant, as long as it shows my car in the taxi bay road markings? The truth is you cannot clearly see this sign on approach in the car due to the bus stop before it, and once you have stopped there it is too late.

How about the fact that CCTV was used, in an area where there is no reason CEO enforcement could be deemed impractical (i.e. it is a 30mph road with pavements)? Is this not contrary to statutory guidance? I was booked on Sunday evening, when I presume a relatively small proportion of CEOs are working.

Also, there is no prominent CCTV signage in the vicinity of the CCTV camera (the council told me these signs are only 'advisory' and are located at the entrance to the borough at various points, which covers them in most cases). sad.gif
Scorpio7
Just to let you know that my wife and I have decided not to make a formal appeal to PATAS, and the 28 day window will soon expire. We do not want to risk the fine increasing to 100 pounds if our appeal fails for any reason.

The council has screwed us this time, but I will put this down to experience. I plan to keep a roll of kitchen towel in the car for these baby accidents - no doubt it may happen again, especially as we have a 2nd baby due in November!

Again, many thanks to all for the great advice and keep up the good work with this website. smile.gif
Scorpio7
I passed the taxi rank spot yesterday where I received the PCN via CCTV in June.

It seems the yellow road markings of the taxi rank & the adjoining double-yellow lines have recently been 'topped up' with nice new yellow paint! Is that a coincidence or what? dry.gif

Maybe the road markings were sub-standard after all when I allegedly committed the contravention? No help now as I will pay the 50 quid on Halloween when it falls due, & not a day earlier! mad.gif

Be warned - maybe this website is frequented by some unwelcome guests from the council? huh.gif
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