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Full Version: Confusing car park, got a penatly from the council
FightBack Forums > Queries > Council Tickets & Clamping and Decriminalised Notices
Candycow
Hello, I hear you may be able to help me.

My husband took my son to the cinema on Tuesday as a treat, half the car park around the cinema is owned/operated by the council, half by the cinema/Vinci. It's not VERY obvious which bits are which, but it is marked and so if you are careful you *shouldn't* get caught out (I also think the machines are different colours, but can't remember, and they have fairly recently changed the council ones). He went to buy a ticket from the machine nearest his car (council operated), but there was a car parked so close to it he couldn't easily get to it, so he put the parking money in the machine that was back to back with it. It turns out of course, that the other machine was for the next row which is the Vinci section, and he came back to a penalty issued by the council attendant. The parking attendant had even written on the outside of the penalty notice that a Vinci ticket was not vaild in that area.

So, do we just pay the fine, or fight this one? I am happy to pay if we have to, but as he'd actually paid a parking fee if we don't, I'd rather not pay £25.

Forgot to click email notifications on, oops
makara
Scan (or photograph) and post up ALL sides of the Ticket (and/or any other paperwork received)

- edit out your personal details and your car reg. and the Ticket number (from the SCANNED version ONLY - do NOT amend anything on the original hard-copy PCN or other original paperwork!) before uploading.
Incandescent
Was there another "council" machine he could have used ? In addition, it must be clear on each machine what the validity is of the tickets it issues.
Candycow
Yes, he could have used another machine, he genuinely didn't realise the machines were not valid throughout the car park. The ticket he bought clearly says Vinci, he just didn't realise that some areas of the car park were being operated by them and some the council. It's a very confusing car park, runs right round the building, one corner of it is Vinci, as are 2 rows at the completely opposite end, and another corner, then 2 sections of it are council run standard parking rate, seperated by council parking premium rate, one area is solely disabled parking, and one row is McDonalds customers only. It was all mode worse by the fact he had son in tow, who's behaviour can be dangerous in car parks....

I will photograph the documents later on this evening when children aren't around.
Incandescent
There is nothing on the ticket to indicate its area of validity in the car park. However we need to see pics of each of the two machines to see what they say. I have to say this looks like a real honey-trap for the council. Two machines back to back, one out-of-order, so the motorist uses the other one and gets a ticket; it stinks !!
Candycow
It wasn't out of order, there was a car parked so far on to the curb though that he couldn't get to it. I think we would have more chance if it were out of order as it should have been known to the council it wasn't working, and other people probably would have made the same mistake. I suspect we have no leg to stand on legally, it was his silly mistake, it's just frustrating, and if we can appeal with not too much hassle, I will.
Incandescent
Well or course you can appeal informally within the 14 days of the discount period, and councils usually re-offer the discount if rejecting this appeal. However, a formal appeal is made to a Notice to Owner, issued after 28 days, and this time the full amount is in play, and the same at adjudication.

The only thing for an appeal is confusing signage for a case like this. I would make an informal appeal with all the circumstances of your case, (including fractious child that you hint at), and see what happens. Only then, if refused, come back to this forum and we can try to assemble an appeal based on inadequate signage. Some councils will give way, but most like the money too much and also appear to have admin staff with all humanity surgically removed.
Candycow
Thanks, is informal appeal to simply email them? Said child is currently being assessed for Autistic Spectrum Disorder, but we are early in the process, so I don't really have that as a tool really at the moment. Unfortunately my husband is unused to taking him places on his own, and so car parks are a stressful place all round. I am a little annoyed at him too though, as I think the signs are clear enough if you actually read them, although I do find driving round the car park confusing too.
Incandescent
QUOTE
Thanks, is informal appeal to simply email them?


PCN should have instructions on informal appeal. E-mail is normally used nowadays, but if you use this medium make sure you keep the input and the response in case you need to prove later that you sent one. Councils not following the process makes many appeals successful in the end.
SchoolRunMum
QUOTE (Candycow @ Sun, 9 Sep 2012 - 21:56) *
Thanks, is informal appeal to simply email them? Said child is currently being assessed for Autistic Spectrum Disorder, but we are early in the process, so I don't really have that as a tool really at the moment. Unfortunately my husband is unused to taking him places on his own, and so car parks are a stressful place all round. I am a little annoyed at him too though, as I think the signs are clear enough if you actually read them, although I do find driving round the car park confusing too.




'Informal challenge' is exactly the process explained on the back of the PCN, it's not a description of how you submit it.

Informal = the first stage of appeal, can be written by the driver. The PCN will say if they usually re-offer the discount if they reject an appeal sent quickly.

Formal = will be the second stage of appeal, has to come from the owner. At this stage there's no discount offered any more but it doesn't go any higher.

Adjudication = last stage of appeal, the case is considered by an independent person and the m ost you'd pay is still the full penalty (no costs, no Court).
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