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albatross99
Hello everyone.
Well, I received a ticket in the exact same spot yesterday (Sunday). As everyone on this post has already acknowledged, the wording on the sign is absurdly unclear.

I'm considering taking it to appeal - and I recognise I will forfeit my right to pay a reduced fine.

I'm certainly not of a legal background so I would welcome any advice as how best to pursue it from here.

It seems to me that looking through this thread there are a couple of points that can be made. One that it doesn't explicitly state that the bay is for Electric Vehicles Only - and that they were advised to do so when granted permission for the sign.

Also, that if you remove one of the conditions that are optional on the sign then it makes no sense. Thus on their own legal standing, the sign is definitively unclear.

Do people think I have a genuine chance of winning against them here?
Thanks


SchoolRunMum
Can you post a link to the thread which you first refer to - did that poster win?

I seem to recall that pretty much every challenge against electric car signs have eventually won that I have seen on pepipoo in recent months. Councils cannot seem to get the signs right.

What are you planning on using as your first appeal wording - can you post a draft to get some comments & more advice please.
buttonpusher
Your title says (implies) you had an electric vehicle but the ticket contradicts this, could you clarify please?
Neil B
QUOTE (buttonpusher @ Tue, 24 Apr 2012 - 08:33) *
Your title says (implies) you had an electric vehicle but the ticket contradicts this, could you clarify please?


Yeah, it's important to get the wording clear, LOL!

(Don't take it to heart, it's a jest). biggrin.gif

QUOTE (albatross99 @ Mon, 23 Apr 2012 - 14:31) *
One that it doesn't explicitly state that the bay is for Electric Vehicles Only - and that they were advised to do so when granted permission for the sign.


Are you saying DfT said that? Can we see some link/evidence. I'm a bit miffed with DfT when I keep hearing about their 'advice' rather than clearly setting conditions to Councils on Special Authorisations.

Incidentally, once I looked properly, i agree that sign is misleading. It merely says it is available for fee parking of 4 hours -- and also happens to be a charging point.
Joe R
I've literally just been scanning my own pcn and uploading photo's for the same bay! The other two recent posts for the same bay are....

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=65097

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=66910

Joe

albatross99
Hey everyone,
I didn't title the thread - evidently I had hijacked an old thread incorrectly so it was moved. Apologies!

Original thread is here:
http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...65097&st=20

So, don;t wish to mislead... My vehicle isn;t electric but the sign appeared to me to indicate that it was reserved for electric vehicles only during the times stated - therefore it was ok to park there on a sunday - which is when i got the ticket.

Posts in that thread seem to indicate i may have grounds to appeal. Would welcome any thoughts.
Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Sorry, meant to add. I've not composed a draft as yet so any do's and don'ts are much appreciated too!
Neil B
While your thread is newish you should be able to edit the title.

QUOTE (albatross99 @ Mon, 23 Apr 2012 - 14:31) *
One that it doesn't explicitly state that the bay is for Electric Vehicles Only - and that they were advised to do so when granted permission for the sign.


Having read the authorisation now I don't see that as advice. I see it as a condition that the wording be changed. Where DfT first refer to 'legend' it reads to me that they are talking about the text of the sign.

If I'm right, the sign isn't authorised.
Joe R
I have taken photo's of this bay last night. Should I post them to assist the OP or start my own thread?

Thanks
Joe
albatross99
QUOTE (Neil B @ Tue, 24 Apr 2012 - 11:07) *
Having read the authorisation now I don't see that as advice. I see it as a condition that the wording be changed. Where DfT first refer to 'legend' it reads to me that they are talking about the text of the sign.

If I'm right, the sign isn't authorised.


Thanks Neil - so should I state this and quote the authorisations in my initial appeal letter?

PS changed the thread title ;-)
hcandersen
Taking this thread on its own (there might have been others), the contravention clearly didn't occur.

The PCN was served on 22 April which was a Sunday.

The restriction conveyed by the sign does not apply to Sundays, therefore on Sundays there aren't any restrictions related to this parking place. So, whether your car is electric, diesel, petrol or powered by an elastic band makes not a jot of difference.

Or have I missed something?



HCA
Neil B
QUOTE (albatross99 @ Tue, 24 Apr 2012 - 11:49) *
QUOTE (Neil B @ Tue, 24 Apr 2012 - 11:07) *
Having read the authorisation now I don't see that as advice. I see it as a condition that the wording be changed. Where DfT first refer to 'legend' it reads to me that they are talking about the text of the sign.

If I'm right, the sign isn't authorised.


Thanks Neil - so should I state this and quote the authorisations in my initial appeal letter?

PS changed the thread title ;-)


Depends if you agree with what that authorisation says; Have you seen it?
It's in the first of the threads linked by Joe.

Either way, as HCA says and evryone else for that matter, the sign is nuts.
If I've read the authorisation wrongly I wonder if an Adjudicator can find against a sign so authorised?? When as nonsensical as this I don't see why not?

---
It's already apparent this is like the Hemel Bus Lane situation. Loads of people being caught so it just can't be a coincidence.
albatross99
Hello,
For my initial appeal, how about something along the following lines, thanks to HCA and co smile.gif

To whom it may concern. I would like to register an informal appeal against the PCN as I do not believe the contravention took place. The restriction conveyed by the sign does not apply to Sundays, therefore on Sundays there aren't any restrictions related to this parking place. It is therefore irrelevant whether the vehicle is electric or otherwise.

The wording of the sign is at least misleading - and possibly unauthorised. The sign is demonstrably ambiguous.



HCA - in your post #15 and #21 here http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...st&p=632482 you say in reference to the CoW and SoS authorisations:

QUOTE
"I think Mortimer's being too kind. "Should" is a Highway Code and Op Guidance term which implies a preference or sensible action but not a mandatory requirement. However, the SoS's authority is couched in terms of "must" and "may only", different beasts altogether. Thou shalt but they haven't."



QUOTE
"The SoS has no lawful authority to authorise the use of a sign which is unclear, and IMO it is unclear. But has the SoS given authority for an unclear sign? I don't know because I don't know what Westminster stated in their application that the sign was supposed to convey.

At present you have an unsquared circle - CoW stated in the posted letter what their interpretation of the sign was, but was that the DfT's and if so how would they know?
DfT's letter states that the sign may be used without a time of day; time limit; or day of the week. Just look at the sign and see what sense, if any, remains if these are omitted, either in combination or singly. If you take all three elements away, it makes sense as it ends with "at all times". But if only the time limit is omitted then CoW's interpretation which is that " the times on the sign are to indicate when electric vehicles are limited to 4 hours" becomes, when that limit is omitted (which the authorisation states may be done without any further reference to DfT) ..."at all times, Mon-Sat 8.30 - 6.30" Square that circle if you can."


Should i reference the specifics like this now or save it for the appeal hearing?

I note in their rejection Westminster CC they say that these are just guidelines and they don't HAVE to say ELECTRICAL VEHICLES ONY or ELEC VEH ONLY. They say that the wording of the sign is sufficient.

Is it relevant for me to bring up other incidents of people getting caught out by the sign being misleading? Or will they dismiss that?

Many thanks for your help.
hcandersen
Don't overcomplicate. You could be preparing a submission to the Supreme Court, but it wouldn't cut any ice with CoW - they will say no.

All your challenge needs to do is to state the points as you've done: the sign does not comply with the necessary regulatory requirements in that it does not convey that any restrictions apply on a Sunday.

I wouldn't worry about whether it's authorised, that burden lies with CoW, not you. And I would state that in addition to the sign being non-compliant, it is also ambiguous and lacks the required clarity.

HCA
Alexis
They'll only send you the same rejection letter as the previous guy.

I would head them off at the pass:

QUOTE
To whom it may concern.

This is an informal appeal against PCN number 12345 as I do not believe the alleged contravention took place. The restriction conveyed by the sign does not apply to Sundays, therefore on Sundays there aren't any restrictions related to this parking place. It is therefore irrelevant whether the vehicle is electric or otherwise.

If the bay was for the use of electric vehicles 24/7, the times would be absent. The wording of the sign is at least misleading and it is clear the council have misinterpreted the meaning intended to be conveyed by the Secretary of State.

I have been passed a copy of a previous appeal rejection from another motorist (see enclosed) where you attempt to explain the meaning of the wording. In anticipation of an identical rejection and my rejection of the council's explanation, I intend to make further Representations following your issue of the Notice to Owner and then take the matter to Adjudication.

I also note the sign does not follow the SoS's blueprint and depicts the electric car legend in black on white, instead of the reverse.
albatross99
Haha, fantastic thank you HCA and Alexis.

As each of your approaches differ slightly, I wonder (perhaps naively) whether there is any advantage or not to be gained from listing more arguments at this stage. Does this not just give them more time to prepare counter arguments? Or is it better to state the case as clearly and as detailed as possible from the outset?

Thanks. Your advice - and this forum in general - really is a wonderful thing.

hcandersen
.."Counter arguments"?

This is not a debating club or Opportunity Knocks and decisions are not based on the Clap-o-meter.

You make points based in law and they are required to consider these against the same frame of reference.

For info, this is an extract from a PATAS Key Case (Effect of Secretary of State's Authorisation):


QUOTE
The
Secretary of State obviously would not authorise signing unless he believed it
to be adequate. However, adequacy depends not just on paper theory but on
the effectiveness of the signage in practice; and clearly it would be necessary
to reconsider the signage if practical experience suggested there were
difficulties. The Council’s argument amounts to suggesting that signage the
subject of an authorisation from the Secretary of State is exempt from judicial
scrutiny. I do not agree.


In short, the SoS has approved a sign, but has no idea in what circumstances it is being applied. An adj is permitted to scrutinise this use.


HCA
albatross99
More sage advice, many thanks.

The law may not be Opportunity Knocks but on matters like this it can still provide entertainment - and it feels like sport to over turn (or at least attempt to) the unfair penalties these councils impose.

I think I will go with a longer informal appeal that makes the various legal points in case by some miracle they decide to accept it.

I will post the responses on here.
Thanks
albatross99
Here is my informal appeal - will post response on here:


To whom it may concern.

This is an informal appeal against PCN number XXXX as I do not believe the alleged contravention took place. The restriction conveyed by the sign does not apply to Sundays, therefore on Sundays there aren't any restrictions related to this parking place. It is therefore irrelevant whether the vehicle is electric or otherwise.

If the bay was for the use of electric vehicles 24/7, the times would be absent. The wording of the sign is at least misleading and it is clear the council have misinterpreted the meaning intended to be conveyed by the Secretary of State.

I have a copy of a previous appeal rejection from another motorist (see attached) where the Council attempt to explain the meaning of the wording. In anticipation of an identical rejection and my rejection of the council's explanation, I intend to make further Representations following your issue of the Notice to Owner and then take the matter to Adjudication.

For further reference with regards to the signage and the Council's "interpretation", this is an extract from a PATAS Key Case (Effect of Secretary of State's Authorisation):

"The Secretary of State obviously would not authorise signing unless he believed it
to be adequate. However, adequacy depends not just on paper theory but on
the effectiveness of the signage in practice; and clearly it would be necessary
to reconsider the signage if practical experience suggested there were
difficulties. The Council’s argument amounts to suggesting that signage the
subject of an authorisation from the Secretary of State is exempt from judicial
scrutiny. I do not agree."

In short, the SoS has approved a sign, but has no idea in what circumstances it is being applied. An adjudicator is permitted to scrutinise this use. So should you decide to continue with the penalty notice, i would like the record to show that the adjudicator should consider the council's interpretation of the sign authorization. It can hardly be coincidence that numerous people are collecting PCN's in the same place with the same confusion.

With regards to the bay markings, the TSRGD 2002 was amended in January 2012 to include signage and bay markings for charging bays. The bays can be to 1028.3, 1028.4, 1032 and 1033, (all of which have white markings). I have photographic evidence of the said bay showing it to be painted yellow. As Westminster Council cannot rely on the TSRGD 2002, I require you to provide evidence and authorisation for using these non-compliant signs and lines at this bay.

I also note the sign does not follow the SoS's blueprint (see attached) and depicts the electric car legend in black on white, instead of the reverse.
albatross99
Well, I got a letter today telling me they are cancelling the PCN. See picture below. Huge thanks to Alexis, and especially HCA for all the assistance. Hopefully this will prove to be of use to other appeals. I heard from Joe R on here that theirs was cancelled this week from the same bay, so they know they need to change it now.

Re: Carlisle Street Electric Vehicle Charging Bay

bama
brill
now tell then they need to stop enofrcing there until they have fixed the non-compliant markings

send a cc; of it to the head of legal and their S.151 officer - along with a copy 9 of their signed confession that the markings are non-compliant.
stevebee
I have appealed to the same parking bay and thanks to this amazing forum; hopefully I will get my charge dropped. I did add at the end though

"In summary a parking ticket is an artificial construct and thefore the legislation around it must be fully complied with in order rely upon it. In this case this has not happened as the lines on the street are yellow and not white as set down in the legislation and can be seen in my photos. Furthermore the signage is ambigious and I would put it to the council that given that you are aware of this (as I understand there have been previous complaints via my research); it is not only deceiptful, it may transgress into an area of criminal law.
I require the name of a responsible person who can be held to account should this deception continue."

Lets see the response I get back...
stevebee
I have recieved a letter today cancelling my PCN from this bay with a letter admitting the lines are incorrectly painted which had already been specified.

Let's see if they do anything about the lines now....
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