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Nowhere Gal
Hi,
Got a parking ticket for parking in said suspended bay. Misleading handwritten notification reads suspension is from 0600 to 1200 from 6/11/12 to 13/11/12, leading most people to understand that its DAILY from 0600 to 1200, however it is from 0600 on the 6/11/12 to 1200 on 13/11/12. Am I in my rights to appeal for parking after 1200 on 12/11/12?

Plus it poorly states that it's for FOUR bays in fine print (!!) and I was in one of the four.

My first appeal has been rejected, but I am so ****** off with the poor signage and deliberate misleading wording that I want to go for the Notice to Owner (NTO) appeal process, however then I have to pay the full amount of £110 and the 50% discount does not apply.

Can someone please tell me if its worth pursuing. I am attaching a photograph of the poor sign.

Thanks!!


shuffleboy
IMHO you will win this at adjudication, as that sign is very very poor and I cant see how it would have DFT authorisation. Merton are notorious revenue hunters but even for them this is a shocking effort.

You need to post up the pcn, front and back, with all your personal details blocked out(name, pcn number, reg), and also please post up the letter of rejection you recieved.

Trust me, get those documents posted up ASAP, as I can see the experts on this site having a field day with this
EDW
'High Stree',

nice


READ ALL OF THIS CAREFULLY


Guide to posting images

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=36858

Use the edit ('+EDIT' button) feature and post ALL sides of ALL documents,photos etc.in post #1.
Remove/obscure your name, address, registraion number and the PCN ref. no.

Post documents in logical, date order correctly orientated (not upside-down etc.)
Make sure the text is big enough to read the small print.

Do not throw away envelopes, the date-stamp may be important.

Post link to Google maps/street view to exact place the contravention happened.

Consider emailing the council/TFL and asking for ALL photo/CCTV evidence to be emailed
in full size format.

MEMBERS ONLY WANT THE HARD FACTS,DATE, TIME, SIGN, ROAD MARKING, ETC. NOT YOUR LIFE STORY



List of jargon:

CEO = Civil enforcement officer (parking attendant)
EA = enforcing authority (the council or Transport for London)
PCN = Penalty charge notice
Reps = Representations
NoR = Notice of rejection
EN = Enforcement notice
CC = Charge Certificate
OfR = Order for recovery
TEC = Traffic enforcement centre (county court)
DfT Dept. for Transport
TMO traffic management Order
Nowhere Gal
Thank you all so much. I am going to get home and upload all the documents.

Much appreciated.

Regards,
NG







QUOTE (EDW @ Tue, 20 Nov 2012 - 16:50) *
'High Stree',

nice


READ ALL OF THIS CAREFULLY


Guide to posting images

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=36858

Use the edit ('+EDIT' button) feature and post ALL sides of ALL documents,photos etc.in post #1.
Remove/obscure your name, address, registraion number and the PCN ref. no.

Post documents in logical, date order correctly orientated (not upside-down etc.)
Make sure the text is big enough to read the small print.

Do not throw away envelopes, the date-stamp may be important.

Post link to Google maps/street view to exact place the contravention happened.

Consider emailing the council/TFL and asking for ALL photo/CCTV evidence to be emailed
in full size format.

MEMBERS ONLY WANT THE HARD FACTS,DATE, TIME, SIGN, ROAD MARKING, ETC. NOT YOUR LIFE STORY



List of jargon:

CEO = Civil enforcement officer (parking attendant)
EA = enforcing authority (the council or Transport for London)
PCN = Penalty charge notice
Reps = Representations
NoR = Notice of rejection
EN = Enforcement notice
CC = Charge Certificate
OfR = Order for recovery
TEC = Traffic enforcement centre (county court)
DfT Dept. for Transport
TMO traffic management Order

Hippocrates
The sign, "Parking suspended", is invalid. It is not a permitted variant of either signs 636 or 636.1

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/31...20023113_en_045
Nowhere Gal
Dear All,

Please find below the following documents further to my case as elaborated above. I parked in a poorly signed "Parking suspension" spot. Not on the spot which had the sign but one next to it. Later I found out the sign said 0600 to 1200 hours from 06/11/12 to 13/11/12. Most people understood this to be 0600 to 1200 daily but the Council meant it was starting to ending as per the date and time. Also, the 4 spots were specified poorly on the sign and the ticket machine (on the rear of the sign) had no signage or poster highlighting the suspension.

Am I in position to fight this? The poor handmade signage, lack of cones or impediments to signify the parking suspension and deliberately misleading wording are all very annoying and exasperating. The writing is literally in "fine print". I feel this is done so as to trick people and would really appreciate any suggestions and help!

I appealed before I found this forum and was replied to via email within 20 minutes of sending it in! I have pasted the response from Merton Council. Should I just pay the £55 or wait and appeal the Notice to owner? Rather concerned and confused.. Appreciate all help!

Regards,
NG


1. Original PCN - Image 1 to 4





2. Photos from my phone that clearly show the poor signage and another car similarly ticketed



3. Photos taken by Council as evidence




4. Google Map location - https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=sw19+high+...sa=N&tab=wl

5. Rejection to my appeal by Council (sent via email within a few minutes of my emailed appeal!)


Parking Services
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden SM4 5DX
Email: parking@merton.gov.ukmailto:parking@merton.gov.uk

My Ref: xxx
Date: 20/11/2012
Ms xx xx
xxx
xx
London
London, United Kingdom
xxxx
Dear Mx xxx,
Penalty Charge Notice:
Date of Contravention: 12/11/2012 VRM:

I refer to your correspondence concerning the above Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

The Penalty Charge Notice was issued as the vehicle was observed on HIGH STREET SW19 parked wholly or partly in a suspended bay or space.

You state in your challenge that the sign stated parking was suspended from 06:00hrs to 12:00hrs on 6th November to 13th November and therefore, as you parked after 12:00hrs it was ok. However, the sign actually states that parking is suspended from '06:00hrs - 6/11/12 to 12:00hrs - 13/11/12', and therefore there was no parking permitted at any time from 6am on 6th November up to 12 noon on 13th November.

I am therefore satisfied that the notice was correctly issued and there are no grounds to cancel the charge. The Council therefore requests that you make settlement at the discounted rate of £55.00, which is payable for a further period of 14 days from the date of this correspondence. If payment is not received by 4th December 2012 the discount will no longer apply and the full amount of £110.00 will be due.

The Council regrets that representations cannot be accepted or discussed by telephone. If you are unhappy with the decision you should await the Notice to Owner and make a formal representation against the charge. The discounted period will not be extended if further representations are received.

You can view the photographic evidence of the contravention by entering your PCN number and registration at www.merton.gov.uk/pcnhttp://www.merton.gov.uk/pcn. Please note, however, that photographs are not a legal requirement and the absence of photographic evidence does not invalidate a PCN.

Yours sincerely,


Parking Services
What happens next?

You can make settlement as outlined below within the specified times, or you can await the Notice to Owner to appeal further against the charge. If you are unhappy with the decision that has been made you must not make payment but await the Notice to Owner.

If payment is made prior to the Notice to Owner being sent out, it is acknowledged that you have accepted liability and the case will be closed. At Notice to Owner stage the full charge of £110.00 will be due.

How to Pay

Please note that the council does not offer instalment plans to pay penalty charges.

Online: www.merton.gov.uk/payhttp://www.merton.gov.uk/pay. When using this method please ensure you obtain the receipt transaction reference.

Phone: Call 020 8545 3518 selecting option 2 for Penalty Charge Notices and bus lane fines. Please note that we do not accept AMEX or Diner's Club Cards.

In Person: You can pay at the Payment Office on the ground floor of the Merton Civic Centre between 10am and 12 Noon, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

Post Office: Payment can also be made at a post office (by Cash or Debit Card Only) or at Pay Point Shops (Cash Only) using the bar code on the PCN.

Post: Send a Cheque or Postal Order (payable to London Borough Of Merton) to the above address. You must write the PCN number, vehicle registration and your address on the reverse of the cheque or postal order.

Please note that payment of a penalty charge is taken to be made when it is received by the council and not from the date of a cheque or the date payment is posted.

Information

The Notice to Owner is a legal document, which gives the motorist another opportunity to contest the charge by making formal representations. This document can only be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle.

If your formal representations are not accepted, you will be sent a rejection notice and an appeal form that you can use to appeal to the independent parking adjudicator. For more information on the appeal process please visit
www.patas.gov.uk/tmaadjudicators/tmaparkingenforcementhttp://www.patas.gov.uk/tmaadjudicators/tmaparkingenforcement









QUOTE (Nowhere Gal @ Tue, 20 Nov 2012 - 17:27) *
Thank you all so much. I am going to get home and upload all the documents.

Much appreciated.

Regards,
NG




QUOTE (EDW @ Tue, 20 Nov 2012 - 16:50) *
'High Stree',

nice


READ ALL OF THIS CAREFULLY


Guide to posting images

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=36858

Use the edit ('+EDIT' button) feature and post ALL sides of ALL documents,photos etc.in post #1.
Remove/obscure your name, address, registraion number and the PCN ref. no.

Post documents in logical, date order correctly orientated (not upside-down etc.)
Make sure the text is big enough to read the small print.

Do not throw away envelopes, the date-stamp may be important.

Post link to Google maps/street view to exact place the contravention happened.

Consider emailing the council/TFL and asking for ALL photo/CCTV evidence to be emailed
in full size format.

MEMBERS ONLY WANT THE HARD FACTS,DATE, TIME, SIGN, ROAD MARKING, ETC. NOT YOUR LIFE STORY



List of jargon:

CEO = Civil enforcement officer (parking attendant)
EA = enforcing authority (the council or Transport for London)
PCN = Penalty charge notice
Reps = Representations
NoR = Notice of rejection
EN = Enforcement notice
CC = Charge Certificate
OfR = Order for recovery
TEC = Traffic enforcement centre (county court)
DfT Dept. for Transport
TMO traffic management Order

Nowhere Gal
QUOTE (Hippocrates @ Tue, 20 Nov 2012 - 18:51) *
The sign, "Parking suspended", is invalid. It is not a permitted variant of either signs 636 or 636.1

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/31...20023113_en_045


Dear All,

Any help as to whether I have a case here or not will be much appreciated - or should I go ahead and pay the PCN.


Please see all attachments - Merton council PCN; Images of the location taken by my phone; Images submitted by the council; Email from Council rejecting my appeal.

All thoughts much appreciated.

Regards,

Nowhere Gal
EDW
You must choose to gamble or pay 50%.

Have they sent the informal Notice of Rejection in the post?

I think you have a good case.

I would like to see ALL the council photos.

The sign says 'High Siree' the adjudicator will love that.


The Appellants' case is that the suspension was not sufficiently clearly indicated. The onus is on the Council to show that it was. The CEO has photographed a suspension sign and recorded it as being 12 yards from the vehicle; however, as the Appellants point out this sign is not visible in either of the photographs that show the vehicle which is not what one would expect if the sign was clearly in view on a reasonable inspection. On the evidence I am unable to be satisfied the suspension was sufficiently clearly indicated and the Appeal is allowed.
Hippocrates
Find out from DfT if there was any authorisation for that sign. Judith1.Tracey@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Just noticed:- the sign states 06.00 hrs to 12.00; but , your PCN was issued outside that time at 14.42. That's the way I read it. So, I agree with you. It is certainly ambiguous.
Nowhere Gal
QUOTE (Hippocrates @ Wed, 28 Nov 2012 - 23:06) *
Find out from DfT if there was any authorisation for that sign. Judith1.Tracey@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Just noticed:- the sign states 06.00 hrs to 12.00; but , your PCN was issued outside that time at 14


Thanks Hippocrates,

I'll check with the Dft regarding any authorisation for the sign and will try and upload any other photos posted by the council.

They have not mailed the rejection - just an email version, as posted earlier.

Thanks again,

Best,

NG

QUOTE (Nowhere Gal @ Wed, 28 Nov 2012 - 23:24) *
QUOTE (Hippocrates @ Wed, 28 Nov 2012 - 23:06) *
Find out from DfT if there was any authorisation for that sign. Judith1.Tracey@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Just noticed:- the sign states 06.00 hrs to 12.00; but , your PCN was issued outside that time at 14


Thanks Hippocrates,

I'll check with the Dft regarding any authorisation for the sign and will try and upload any other photos posted by the council.

They have not mailed the rejection - just an email version, as posted earlier.

Thanks again,

Best,

NG



And to add to your comment, I read the time the same as you did too. sad.gif

I parked in a poorly signed "Parking suspension" spot. Not on the spot which had the sign but one next to it. Later I found out the sign said 0600 to 1200 hours from 06/11/12 to 13/11/12. Most people understood this to be 0600 to 1200 daily but the Council meant it was starting to ending as per the date and time.
Hippocrates
If this goes to PATAS, I am sure an adjudicator would agree re its total lack of clarity. And spelling missteaks!

They must communicate in writing! Unless you are a hire firm and have given them permission.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/34...gulation/3/made

Would be worth finding out how many PCNS they have issued via a Freedom of Information request. This takes 20 working days.
Nowhere Gal
Hi again,


Here is the fourth image from Merton Council. The three earlier ones are in a previous post.




Many thanks,

NG
Nowhere Gal
Please HELP!! Today is the LAST day to respond to this. MY Notice to Owner was sent on the 14th of December and I entered the 24th of Jan in my reminders mistakenly as the time to respond by sad.gif(

Do you suggest I respond to the NTO by email in the interest of time!!

Please see my draft response below. The DfT has confirmed that they did not authorise the sign and I have a pdf response.

Thanks in advance. Very nervous about making a formal representation!


Dear Sir or Madam,

Re: PCN xxx

I wish to appeal against the above penalty charge notice served upon my vehicle on 12 November 2012. The alleged contravention did not occur and request that you cancel this on the following grounds:


1. The alleged contravention did not occur as the suspension sign has not been authorised by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The DfT has confirmed that they have not authorised the suspension sign. Please see below the response from the Dft. The original letter is also attached as Attachment 1.

“Thank you for your email dated 29 November in which you referred to a temporary parking suspension sign located on the High Street, Wimbledon and requested the following information:

It is understood that this sign was for the suspension of four bays from 6 November to 13 November 2012. Can you please confirm whether the attached sign was indeed authorised by the Department of Transport for the period stated.

Your request has been considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and I am writing to confirm that the Department for Transport (DfT) has now completed its search for the information.

Although you had attached a photograph of the sign that concerns you, I would like to inform you that the DfT can not comment on traffic signs that are shown in photographs as this can be construed as providing legal advice. However, I can verify that the DfT has not issued an authorisation for a temporary parking suspension sign to the London Borough of Merton.”

The contravention did not occur due to restriction not authorised by the law, as verified by the DfT.


2. The council has not abided by its policy to
a. Provide clear and accurate signage of the suspended bays.
b. Place warning cones at any time in the lead up to and duration of the suspension.

I understand from the statutory guidance to local authorities on the civil enforcement of parking contraventions that

“12. Enforcement authorities should aim to increase compliance with parking restrictions through clear, well designed, legal and enforced parking controls.”

You will also see in the photograph, Attachment 2 - Photo 2, taken from my car’s position, that another car (the 4x4) is similarly ticketed (at the same time) and that the sign is not visible from where I was parked. It appears to be meant for only one bay where signposted. That the suspension is for 4 spots is poorly specified in writing on the sign and the ticket machine (on the rear of the sign) carried no signage or marking highlighting the suspension. This sign is not visible in either of the photographs that show the vehicle, which is not what one would expect if the sign was clearly in view on a reasonable inspection.

The sign reads 0600 to 1200 hours from 06/11/12 to 13/11/12, which is ambiguous and can be interpreted as 0600 to 1200 daily from 06/11/12 to 13/11/12 but the CEO who issued the ticket stated it was meant as the starting and ending as per the date and time. (Attachment 3 - Photo 3, taken by CEO).

Further, there were no warning cones in place on any of the four bays.
The above point to a demonstrated failure to adhere to the council’s policy clearly stated on your website:
http://www.merton.gov.uk/transport-streets...signs_and_cones


3. The council has not fulfilled its statutory duty to sign the temporarily suspended bays in accordance with the law.

Furthermore, the sign itself, "Parking suspended", is invalid. It is not a permitted variant of either signs 636 or 636.1

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/31...20023113_en_045


Having given the above information, I trust that the PCN will be cancelled. If you are to reject my appeal, I will require a copy of the CEO's notebook entries with reference to my car, a copy of the Traffic Order for High Street, Wimbledon, including maps and any temporary suspension for that bay, and also a copy of the DfT authorisation for that suspended sign.

I would further request how many PCNs were issued due to this suspension, for all four bays, via a Freedom of Information request.

Yours sincerely,

xxx
















QUOTE (Nowhere Gal @ Thu, 29 Nov 2012 - 11:22) *
Hi again,


Here is the fourth image from Merton Council. The three earlier ones are in a previous post.




Many thanks,

NG
Nowhere Gal
Please HELP!! Today is the LAST day to respond to this. MY Notice to Owner was sent on the 14th of December and I entered the 24th of Jan in my reminders mistakenly as the time to respond by sad.gif(

Do you suggest I respond to the NTO by email in the interest of time!!

Please see my draft response below. The DfT has confirmed that they did not authorise the sign and I have a pdf response.

Thanks in advance. Very nervous about making a formal representation!


Dear Sir or Madam,

Re: PCN xxx

I wish to appeal against the above penalty charge notice served upon my vehicle on 12 November 2012. The alleged contravention did not occur and request that you cancel this on the following grounds:


1. The alleged contravention did not occur as the suspension sign has not been authorised by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The DfT has confirmed that they have not authorised the suspension sign. Please see below the response from the Dft. The original letter is also attached as Attachment 1.

“Thank you for your email dated 29 November in which you referred to a temporary parking suspension sign located on the High Street, Wimbledon and requested the following information:

It is understood that this sign was for the suspension of four bays from 6 November to 13 November 2012. Can you please confirm whether the attached sign was indeed authorised by the Department of Transport for the period stated.

Your request has been considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and I am writing to confirm that the Department for Transport (DfT) has now completed its search for the information.

Although you had attached a photograph of the sign that concerns you, I would like to inform you that the DfT can not comment on traffic signs that are shown in photographs as this can be construed as providing legal advice. However, I can verify that the DfT has not issued an authorisation for a temporary parking suspension sign to the London Borough of Merton.”

The contravention did not occur due to restriction not authorised by the law, as verified by the DfT.


2. The council has not abided by its policy to
a. Provide clear and accurate signage of the suspended bays.
b. Place warning cones at any time in the lead up to and duration of the suspension.

I understand from the statutory guidance to local authorities on the civil enforcement of parking contraventions that

“12. Enforcement authorities should aim to increase compliance with parking restrictions through clear, well designed, legal and enforced parking controls.”

You will also see in the photograph, Attachment 2 - Photo 2, taken from my car’s position, that another car (the 4x4) is similarly ticketed (at the same time) and that the sign is not visible from where I was parked. It appears to be meant for only one bay where signposted. That the suspension is for 4 spots is poorly specified in writing on the sign and the ticket machine (on the rear of the sign) carried no signage or marking highlighting the suspension. This sign is not visible in either of the photographs that show the vehicle, which is not what one would expect if the sign was clearly in view on a reasonable inspection.

The sign reads 0600 to 1200 hours from 06/11/12 to 13/11/12, which is ambiguous and can be interpreted as 0600 to 1200 daily from 06/11/12 to 13/11/12 but the CEO who issued the ticket stated it was meant as the starting and ending as per the date and time. (Attachment 3 - Photo 3, taken by CEO).

Further, there were no warning cones in place on any of the four bays.
The above point to a demonstrated failure to adhere to the council’s policy clearly stated on your website:
http://www.merton.gov.uk/transport-streets...signs_and_cones


3. The council has not fulfilled its statutory duty to sign the temporarily suspended bays in accordance with the law.

Furthermore, the sign itself, "Parking suspended", is invalid. It is not a permitted variant of either signs 636 or 636.1

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/31...20023113_en_045


Having given the above information, I trust that the PCN will be cancelled. If you are to reject my appeal, I will require a copy of the CEO's notebook entries with reference to my car, a copy of the Traffic Order for High Street, Wimbledon, including maps and any temporary suspension for that bay, and also a copy of the DfT authorisation for that suspended sign.

I would further request how many PCNs were issued due to this suspension, for all four bays, via a Freedom of Information request.

Yours sincerely,

xxx








EDW
The email is fine.

It does not really matter what you write, the important stuff comes at patas appeal.


So send away.

and relax, I will beat this easily.
Nowhere Gal
Thanks EDW.

Do you recommend I reply to this NTO via email / through Merton website. Or should I go to the Council offices and hand over?

Many thanks again.

NG smile.gif
EDW
email via their website.

Keep a copy.

Nowhere Gal 2
Hi all,

I had to register as a new user as the account linked to my previous id (Nowhere Gal) was hacked. I have also now received a Notice of rejection from Merton Council who have stated that "the current suspensions signs it uses are legally enforceable and satisfies the criteria as defined in a Court of Appeals decision etc etc.

Please find the Notice of Rejection attached. I am considering Appealing this, but would appreciate your viewpoint and any suggestions as to what I should include in my reply.







Thanks again for all the suggestions and help!

NG
Nowhere Gal 2
I have just come across this article. in the Croydon Guardian. Yes, Merton has acted unlawfully, but they are citing other cases where the adjudicator has led the council off the hook.. So confused.......
http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/1022...fines/?ref=erec


Motorists hit with 'unlawful' parking fines
10:00am Wednesday 13th February 2013
By Chris Baynes

Thousands of motorists may have been stung with unlawful parking fines, it has emerged.

Drivers issued with penalties for leaving their cars in suspended parking bays may be able to fight for a refund after it was revealed that Croydon Council has no government authorisation for the signs it uses to warn them.

Department for Transport (DfT) rules state that councils must apply for approval of signs to advertise suspended bays - sites where parking is normally allowed but has been temporarily banned.

But Croydon is one of 16 London boroughs in which the council has not applied for such approval.

The council fined 526 motorists for parking in suspended bays between January 2009 and June 2011. It did not have figures dating back earlier.

A BBC investigation found that at least 350,000 tickets have been issued at bays with unauthorised signs across London.

Campaigners say that motorists have a right to reclaim fines issued unlawfully.

Paul Pearson, founder of pressure group Penalty Charge Notice, said: "When a motorist makes a mistake they receive a hefty fine from the council so it seems only fair that when a council makes a mistake they refund any money unlawfully taken.

"The fact that they have paid should be of little consequence as they did so under the assumption that the restriction was lawfully signposted."

In 2010 a ticket issued to a motorist in Camden who parked in a suspended bay was ruled unlawful because the council had not applied for authorisation.

But Croydon Council insists the fines are legal because of a second test case in 2011 in which the Court of Appeal ruled that failure to comply with DfT did not invalidate it signs.

A spokesman said: "The case in 2010 set no legal precedent and there have since been many others where fines have been upheld.

"The 2011 Court of Appeal ruling confirms that as long as signage is clear then there is no basis for a successful challenge."

The council's position is supported by lobby group London Councils.
psimmons200
On the bright side you have nothing to lose by going to PATAS; the experts will help you pull Merton's pants down infront of the adjudicator.

"High Siree" indeed.
hcandersen
And yet again a council fails to comply with its duty under the Appeals regs which state:

QUOTE
Rejection of representations against notice to owner

6.—(1) Where representations are made under regulation 4 and the enforcement authority serves a notice of rejection under regulation 5(2)(b), that notice shall—

(a)state that a charge certificate may be served unless before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of service of the notice of rejection—
(i)the penalty charge is paid; OK or
(ii)the person on whom the notice is served appeals to an adjudicator against the penalty charge;
(b)indicate the nature of an adjudicator’s power to award costs; and
©describe in general terms the form and manner in which an appeal to an adjudicator must be made. No. Where does it state that an appeal should be made before the end of the period of 28-days or such longer period as the adj may permit? All I can see is "..it is requested that .... before the end of... And what is this supposed to convey, your legal rights or a preference of the council?
(2) A notice of rejection served in accordance with paragraph (1) may contain such other information as the enforcement authority considers appropriate.


As it stands, the NOR does not appear to contain any information regarding your rights to appeal to an adj, only what might happen if you don't and the council's request.

And as regards the adj's comments, while I've admired some of his decisions, this one seems to be off the wall.

The Court of Appeal decision refers to departures from specified or statutory signs and concludes that minor departure is substantial compliance with the signs. But the signs must exist. In the case of the quoted adj decision, no such statutory signs exist and the adj has looked at signs which are used for other purposes. However, the regs make it clear that 636 may only be used in conjunction with a temp traffic order and 636.1 must not include the words No Unloading. You cannot depart from something which doesn't exist. IMO, the Court of Appeal decision would apply to a specified or approved sign which was rough around the edges, but not the adj case cited.

Throw the lot in and we'll see.
Nowhere Gal 2
Hi All,

I am so tired of this whole process. I have a PATAS hearing on the 25th of April. But Merton have now served me a Charge Certificate saying I now need to pay 50% more - £165.00. I have responded in the required time frame, but feel my rights are being violated. So mad.

Also, thanks to you all, I have received a response on my Freedom of Information request.

This is what I had said:

"Having given the above information, I trust that the PCN will be cancelled. If you are to reject my appeal, I will require a copy of the CEO's notebook entries with reference to my car, a copy of the Traffic Order for High Street, Wimbledon, including maps and any temporary suspension for that bay, and also a copy of the DfT authorisation for the suspension sign. I would also then like to enquire as to how many PCNs were issued due to this suspension, for all four bays, via a Freedom of Information request."

17 PCNs were issued for this suspension which was from 6:30am 6/11/12 to 13:00 on 13/11/12. I think that is rather a lot for less than a week! Especially as parking restrictions additionally apply to these bays from 8:30 to 10:00am (No stopping) and 4:00 to 7:00pm (No stopping). Hence parking is usually only allowed from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Any thoughts?

I will attach the DfT letter soon.

In response from Merton:

Dear xx,
Freedom of Information Act 2000/ Environmental Information Regulations 2004- Information request
We have now considered your request for information as set out below.
You asked:


Please see attached copy of CEO notebook entry
Traffic Management Order (TMO) - A bay suspension does not require a TMO. There is a TMO for High St Wimbledon but when a bay suspension is in place this effectively changes the status of the parking bay temporarily. Therefore we have not provided a copy of this Order.
Please see attached copy of the DfT authorisation for the suspended sign.
The number of PCNs issued for this suspension was 17
If you have any queries or concerns about this please contact me.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request please contact Karin Lane, the Head of Information Governance at Merton Council, Civic Centre, Morden, SM4 5DX or e-mail foi@merton.gov.uk
If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Telephone:0303 123 1113
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Yours sincerely

Samantha Godfrey
Information Team
Information Governance
EDW
Serving a Charge Cert. when you have appealed is not allowed but did your appeal and the Cert. cross in the post?
Nowhere Gal 2
Hi EDW,

I appealed on 18/03/13, received reply on 27/03/13 and charge certificate yesterday 2/4/13. Possible that it might have crossed, but PATAS explicitly states that they have informed Council of the appeal.

Thanks.
EDW
QUOTE (Nowhere Gal 2 @ Wed, 3 Apr 2013 - 10:02) *
Hi EDW,

I appealed on 18/03/13, received reply on 27/03/13 and charge certificate yesterday 2/4/13. Possible that it might have crossed, but PATAS explicitly states that they have informed Council of the appeal.

Thanks.



Well you raise this as part of your appeal.

When your rec. the evidence pack post it here.

Nowhere Gal 2
Thank you EDW.

I need to send in my evidence as well. Do you think I can say that the Suspension sign does not meet the requirements? Please see the DfT approved sign that Merton sent across in response to the foi request.

I don't think that the sign that was put up is in accordance. Can you please take a look at the attached.

Thanks!
EDW
The sign is similar to the authorised version and but it's a point worth mentioning.

You file your appeal by email when they serve their evidence.

They should serve it one week before hearing or earlier.

Nowhere Gal 2
Thanks again EDW. However, I am confused as to how to file the appeal to PATAs. The booklet they sent me says that I need to send the evidence no later than SIX days before the hearing, but the Council's evidence can reach me upto THREE days before my hearing. Which is then possible that I may not have the Council's evidence in time.

Additionally, its not clear how I should send the appeal. What is the email address that is used? The PATAs website goes on about CDs and DVDs!

Thanks,

NG

qafqa
QUOTE
I parked in a poorly signed "Parking suspension" spot. Not on the spot which had the sign but one next to it. Later I found out the sign said 0600 to 1200 hours from 06/11/12 to 13/11/12.

QUOTE
Do you think I can say that the Suspension sign does not meet the requirements? Please see the DfT approved sign that Merton sent across in response to the foi request.

The Parking Suspension sign in your attachment is dated 05/03/2013,
as is the authorisation, so there are still doubts about the sign used in November
to bring to the attention of the Adjudicator.
http://www.dft.gov.uk/traffic-auths/?search=Merton
Nowhere Gal 2
Thanks qafqa,

That's very helpful. In December the DfT replied to my Freedom of Information request about the Suspension sign - with the response:

"However, I can verify that the DfT has not issued an authorisation for a temporary parking suspension sign to the London Borough of Merton."

Merton rejected in my response to the NTO citing another case etc. where the Adjudicator had upheld such suspension signs enforceable including a recent case on 7th January 2013 - JJ Food Services VS LB Wandsworth.

But this recent authorisation is for March - Merton is fighting hard. What I still can't believe is the 17 PCNs awarded for four slots in 6 days. Is that normal?

Thanks again.
emanresu
Go heavy on the Charge Cert too. This is a common ploy by councils when faced with a challenge. Had you panicked and paid the Charge Cert, the whole process stops and the council 'wins'. There is no sanction on the council for this PI which is why it is all too common.

There is no need too, but you could inform the council that you will be raising the issue of the Charge Cert with PATAS as they well know they cannot issue one, once PATAS has accepted and confirmed the appeal date. If they are stupid and want to waste more time, they will continue to PATAS - or they could just fold on receipt of your letter and put in a DNC.

It is a particularly nasty little trick.
EDW
Case Reference: 2120269625
Appellant: J J Food Service Limited
Authority: Westminster
VRM: KP09NUA
PCN: WM72089072
Contravention Date: 24 Jan 2012
Contravention Time: 12:39
Contravention Location: Boscobel Street
Penalty Amount: £130.00
Contravention: Parked in a suspended bay/part of bay
Decision Date: 12 Sep 2012
Adjudicator: Edward Houghton
Appeal Decision: Refused
Direction: None
Reasons: The Appellants' lorry was unloading in a disabled bay which had been suspended. The Appellants submit that there was no contravention on the basis that although the sign indicating the suspension was clear it was not a "traffic sign" which is what the Traffic Management Order requires to be in place as the basis of the contravention

Article 12(5) requires the Council on suspending a bay to erect "traffic signs indicating that waiting by vehicles is prohibited". Article 12(6) prohibits a vehicle waiting when "there is displayed in or adjacent to that parking place ..a traffic sign placed in pursuance of paragraph (5).." . "Traffic Sign" is not defined in the Order itself ( as it was in the case of Campbell v London Borough of Camden (2010) PATAS 2090523567 to which the Appellants refer me). However it seems to me that they are correct in submitting that by virtue of s11 Interpretation Act 1978 the expression must in the absence of any contrary intention( and I can see none) bear the same meaning as the Act enabling the Order to be made i.e the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. S64 of that Act defines a Traffic Sign as an object or device etc specified by regulations or authorised by the Secretary of State; in other words a sign prescribed in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 or specifically authorised by the Department for Transport

For some reason which has always baffled me the TSRGD does not prescribe a suspension sign as such. Various designs are in use all over the country although they tend to have a common look and feel ( yellow, the no waiting rondel on them). The Department's guidance in the Traffic Signs Manual simply states that guidance should be sought, clearly a hint that authorisation should be applied for. Some Councils, including neighbouring Kensington and Chelsea and, more recently, Camden have done so. The Traffic Management Order in this case ( and a good many others , this being a standard form provision) therefore seems to require the Council to obtain authorisation for suspension signs This was the basis of my decision in Campbell.

That decision ( and the TSM guidance), however, pre-dates the important decision of the Court of Appeal in R v The Parking Adjudicator and Sunderland City Council on the application of Herron [2010]EWHC 1161(Admin) which of course is binding on me. The Court in that case decided that the test to be applied in signs and lines cases is one of substantial compliance. It seems to me that the case does not go so far as to decide that clarity is all that is required; however it is clearly an important factor, and once a sign is clear enough to give adequate information to the motorist of the restriction relied on, substantial compliance with the Regulations will suffice. The Court said "If by "properly signed (the Adjudicator) meant that the sign had to be in substantial compliance with the statutory specification and not such as to mislead or fail to inform the motorist I would agree with him".

Although there is no "suspension sign" as such prescribed by the TSRGD it does contain a sign ( Diagram 636) for "Temporary prohibition of waiting except for loading and unloading"; and another sign (Diagram 636.1) for the "Temporary prohibition of loading and unloading". The TMO requires the traffic sign to indicate that waiting is prohibited and ( by implication, in the absence of a loading exemption) that loading is as well. Diagrams 636 and 636.1 are traffic signs, and are in my view appropriately used to give that indication. The indented edges to the yellow surround in the illustrations of the sign are an indication that they may appear on a yellow background in a variety of unspecified circumstances. It seems to me that the inclusion of these prescribed symbols and words is sufficient for it to be said that the sign is a substantially compliant traffic sign even if it contains other words reinforcing the message and spelling out the location and extent of the suspension.

I am therefore satisfied the restriction was clearly and correctly signed and that the vehicle was in contravention. The PCN was correctly issued.

I accept the Council's evidence that at the date the charge certificate was issued it had not yet been informed that an Appeal had been lodged. No procedural impropriety occurred.
Nowhere Gal 2
Thanks EDW. Are you suggesting I have a lost case?!!
EDW
QUOTE (Nowhere Gal 2 @ Wed, 3 Apr 2013 - 17:48) *
Thanks EDW. Are you suggesting I have a lost case?!!



No. This case is not binding on others.

Your case is that the sign is so messy/small lettering that it cant be readily understood.

It looks like a spider with inky legs has scuttled across it.
Nowhere Gal 2
Dear All,

Thank you for ALL your help. I went to PATAS who have agreed to my appeal! I will scan and post the letter.
But I must say, the adjudicator was trying his hardest to go with the Council, but agreed that the signage was not conclusive. He didn't want to go down the route of whether the sign was legal etc..

Thanks - it was a hard journey - one I wouldn't have made without all your ideas and help.

Thank you. We all need to stand up to these rotten councils.

NG
EDW
QUOTE (Nowhere Gal 2 @ Tue, 30 Apr 2013 - 20:16) *
Dear All,

Thank you for ALL your help. I went to PATAS who have agreed to my appeal! I will scan and post the letter.
But I must say, the adjudicator was trying his hardest to go with the Council, but agreed that the signage was not conclusive. He didn't want to go down the route of whether the sign was legal etc..

Thanks - it was a hard journey - one I wouldn't have made without all your ideas and help.

Thank you. We all need to stand up to these rotten councils.

NG



I read it a few days ago, well done, the HRS thing was fatal, I knew that from the time I saw the sign.

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