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londondoc
First post - so apologies if I make any schoolboy errors here.

I received a parking ticket in Wandsworth for parking (without a permit) in a residents permit bay during controlled hours. The bay (a single bay with single yellow lines either side) was (to my mind) insufficiently marked for 2the following reasons and so I assumed it was not a currently enforced bay:
  • the dashed lines parallel to the pavement were not present (see photo 3) - I presume a recent road repair had dug up the part of the road with the lines and they had not been repainted
  • the lines perpendicular to the pavement were double rather than single lines which I understand is non-compliant with proper markings for a single bay in TSRGD (although I am aware that a case - from Wandsworth - failed with the adjudicator on this issue)

The bay did have a posted sign stating it was a residents permit bay - no pic, but I think it was compliant.
I wrote the following informal challenge by email:
"I am writing to make an informal challenge to the above PCN issued on xxxxxx/13 on vehicle XXXXXX.
The PCN alleges that the above vehicle was 'parked in a residents or shared use parking place......without.....displaying a valid permit.'
The area where the vehicle was parked is not clearly delineated as a residents or shared use parking space. The road markings delineating the bay do not conform with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) 2002 for the following reasons:
1. The TSRGD stipulates that a parking bay should be marked with a white box (Diagram 1028.4 TSRGD). As is apparent from the attached photographs there is no box as there are no road-side markings indicating the road-side edge of the bay. This is not a permitted variant.
2. The road markings that are present at the site of the alleged contravention show a double white line perpendicular to the edge of the carriageway. The double white line is not a permitted variant of diagram 1028.4, and should be used only when a parking bay is divided into individually marked spaces (diagram 1032). No such individually marked spaces are apparent at the site of the alleged contravention.
In view of the fact that the markings where the alleged contravention took place do not satisfy the legal requirements for a residents or shared use parking space, and indeed are so deficient so as to cause confusion as to whether the area is indeed a currently enforced parking bay, I therefore trust that the PCN will be cancelled."

Disappointingly, I received this reply by email:

"Dear Mr XXXXXX

Penalty Charge Notice Number: WAXXXXXXX

Vehicle Registration: XXXXXXX

Date Issued: xxxxxxxx 2013

Location of Contravention: BURSTOCK ROAD SW15

I refer to your enquiry received on xxxxxxxxx 2013 regarding the above Penalty Charge Notice.

The Penalty Charge Notice was issued because your vehicle was parked in a resident permit holders’ only bay without displaying a valid permit or voucher. I have noted your comments; however. I can confirm the bay markings are compliant and indicated that bay is restricted on a clearly defined length of this street with accompanying sign plate. The line ends adjacent to the white lines indicating the limits of a parking place. In that context, it cannot possibly be said that any motorist would be misled or confused by the sign and lines. I am satisfied that this contravention occurred and that the PCN was properly issued and served.

It is the motorist’s responsibility to verify the restrictions on the sign plate serving the bay they have occupied. The regulations require that the relevant sign plate is located on the same side of the road within the white line markings indicating the start and end of the bay.

Given the above, I am satisfied that the PCN was correctly issued and regrettably, you have not established sufficient grounds for cancellation of this penalty charge. As your enquiry was received within the discount period the amount of £65.00, will be accepted if payment is received within 14 days of the date of this letter.

To make a credit or debit card payment please call our 24 hour automated payment line on 0845 130 5758 or pay online by visiting www.wandsworth.gov.uk/parking/payment.

Alternatively, your cheque or postal order should be made payable to “Wandsworth Borough Council”, clearly identified with the Notice number written on the reverse side and sent to: Wandsworth Borough Council (Parking), PO Box No. 4405, London, SW18 2XN.

If payment is not received as detailed, I shall assume that you wish to pursue the matter and shall arrange for a Notice to Owner to be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle so that formal representations may be made. Should these be rejected, the registered keeper of the vehicle will then be afforded the opportunity to appeal to the Parking Adjudicator.

I should point out that, should you decide to take this course of action, on the expiry of the discount period you will forfeit the right to pay the Penalty Charge at the lower rate and the full charge of £130.00 will be due.

If you are not the registered keeper of the vehicle e.g. the vehicle is a company or lease/hire vehicle, or being used with the owner’s consent, I suggest you advise the keeper that a Notice to Owner will be issued.

Yours sincerely"


I would be very grateful for advice on what next. I fondly imagined that the totally non-compliant bay markings would be enough, and also note a post elsewhere in the forums about Wandsworth parking tickets that suggests that the tickets themselves are non-compliant as they give no time for the contravention (only 'was seen' from and to times). Finally, the details of the alleged contravention are partially obscured on the PCN due to overlapping printing - not sure there is a reg about a PCN clearly or legibly stating the contravention? So, I imagine I ought to win the case, but as I am new to this I'm not sure on the next steps. Do I do nothing until I receive a NTO and then raise the three points above in a formal challenge? Is there anything more I can do at this point (I am still within the 50% reduction in payment window)? Do you have any thoughts on the likelihood of the PCN being upheld and other arguments I should make? Should I be asking for the written notes of the enforcement officer and the TPO at this point?

All comments gratefully received

LD
Click to view attachment
Click to view attachment
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The silver car is parked in the bay - the car in the bottom left is outside the bay on a single yellow line.
hcandersen
No-one can guarantee the outcome at appeal. You could win on the "no contravention time", "obscure grounds" or the non-compliant bay, either individually or in combination. but you could also lose. If you look at google maps you'll see that the bay has been improperly marked since at least the date of that image i.e. June 2012. My concern is that your first post clearly implies that you saw the bay but parked there deliberately because you thought that you could argue that it was non-compliant. If my understanding is wrong and you did not see the road markings at the time or saw them but did not recognise them as markings which indicated the presence of a parking place, then let us know.
londondoc
Thanks hca

I realise there are no guarantees of a successful challenge - but the alternative is paying every PCN however dodgy.

I may have given the wrong impression in my OP that I deliberately parked in what I knew to be a residents bay - in fact it was dark when I parked and I could not see the bay markings (as half of them don't exist....) so only realised I was in a bay when I returned to the car and found the PCN.

So next step is to wait for the NTO, or is there something else I should be doing in the mean time?

LD
londondoc
Click to view attachmentClick to view attachmentClick to view attachment

An update.

I have now received the NTO from Wandsworth (7 days after the NTO date, but I guess that's the Christmas post). It seems I have a few options for my formal challenge - and if it come to it PATAS.

1. The bay markings. This is my main gripe. None of the lines on the bay are compliant with TGSRD! (either missing, double or truncated). Because of this, I did not recognise that I was parked in a controlled parking bay until I received the ticket.
2. The PCN does not clearly state the contravention as the printing of the alleged contravention overlies the pre-printed part of the form. I would greatly appreciate advice on the relevant regulations relating to this.
3. The PCN does not state a time of contravention - only a date and a 'was seen' period. Has anyone appealed successfully on this point?
4. The NTO refers to the 'penalty period' rather than the 'payment period' (although I believe a previous appeal was unsuccessful at PATAS on this point).
5. The NTO implies that only 1 Box (S) can be ticked. There is no Box S and in any event I understand any number of boxes can be ticked if there are multiple reasons for the challenge....

I would be very grateful for your thoughts and advice - particularly regarding point 2

Thanks and Happy New Year!

LD
Mad Mick V
No reference in the PCN or NtO of --The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 just the TMA 2004.

This omission is IMO a major procedural impropriety in that the Council’s PCN and NtO documentation are not fit for purpose and have failed a potential appellant in ways which are significant, material and potentially prejudicial.

This is highly prejudicial to any appeals process predicated by the provisions of The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 and to the rights of individuals who may wish to seek recourse through an appeals system which is transparent and clearly delineated.


Mick
londondoc
Thank you MMV - I will add this to the list!

Are you aware of any cases which have won at formal challenge or PATAS on this point?
Mad Mick V
No, but there are at least three current threads on this forum which have this deficient paperwork and there is a least one other parking appeal website which is watching the situation closely.

It's not only the potential appellant who is disadvantaged by a singleton reference to the TMA it's the adjudicator too because his powers are not properly demonstrated by the TMA alone which indicates:-

80(3) The regulations may provide that, as respects a ground on which representations may be made, the adjudicator's function on an appeal is to decide whether to direct the enforcement authority to consider or re-consider (as the case may be) any representations relating to that ground.

i.e. nothing about the power to determine a PCN is invalid, cancellation of a PCN, award costs etc etc.

Mick
hcandersen
I'm not aware of any requirement within the General Regs or the SoS's Stat Guidance for a PCN to include the regulations' citation.

OP - IMO, you have first and lower-order points.

As you imply, your main point is surely that the markings were not visible and therefore at the time of the day at which you parked (weather conditions?) you were not aware that you'd stopped in a parking place. You parked at the end of a parking place, didn't you, and therefore there were no indications in front of you e.g. clear parking place lines stretching into infinity, but not where you were etc. to indicate that you were in a parking place. If a council wish to establish restrictions in parking places which extend beyond daylight hours, in this case ....., then it is incumbent upon them to place road markings that are clear, even in poor light and weather conditions.

I would not include within this point anything about incorrect lines, this smacks of being a barrack-room lawyer. However, you should mention these points (and the council are required to consider) but IMO words to the effect that since the authority rejected your primary grounds of dispute at the challenge stage, you've been required to look at other matters regarding the council's compliance with the procedural requirements of the various regulations and you would also include the following grounds in your representations.........................
Chaseman
QUOTE (londondoc @ Wed, 1 Jan 2014 - 22:08) *
An update.

I have now received the NTO from Wandsworth (7 days after the NTO date, but I guess that's the Christmas post). It seems I have a few options for my formal challenge - and if it come to it PATAS.


The extract below is from The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007:

(2) A notice to owner served under paragraph (1) must, in addition to the matters required to be included in it under regulation 3(3) of the Representations and Appeals Regulations, state—
(a)the date of the notice, which must be the date on which the notice is posted; .
(b)the name of the enforcement authority serving the notice; .
©the amount of the penalty charge payable; .
(d)the date on which the penalty charge notice was served; .
(e)the grounds on which the civil enforcement officer who served the penalty charge notice under regulation 9 believed that a penalty charge was payable with respect to the vehicle; .
(f)that the penalty charge, if not already paid, must be paid within “the payment period” as defined by regulation 3(3)(a) of the Representations and Appeals Regulations; .
(g)that if, after the payment period has expired, no representations have been made under regulation 4 of the Representations and Appeals Regulations and the penalty charge has not been paid, the enforcement authority may increase the penalty charge by the applicable surcharge; and .
(h)the amount of the increased penalty charge.

Note the section highlighted. Wandsworth has extremely bad form in posting notices days after the date they bear and this is simply contrary to the strict regulations as above. Have you got the envelope it came in? Unfortunately they tend not to be date stamped these days, just bearing the marking "Advanced Mail First Class" which I have never understood - "Advanced" in advance of what? "Normal" first class??? Mail is deemed delivered if posted first class (also a requirement) two business days after posting. Count up the days carefully and if there s a gap of more than two BD I think you have a strong case that the NTO was not posted on the date it was produced. At the least you can knock it back into Wandsworth's court for them to produce evidence that it was. Let them argue "Christmas post" as a defence. You do not have to give them the benefit of the doubt.
londondoc
Thank you for all the replies and advice!

hca - I agree that the main point is that the markings delineating a restricted parking bay were not visible. It was dark when I parked - although even had it been broad daylight, the bay would not have been obvious as most of the lines were missing! I will separate the issue of non-TGSRD compliant bay markings to a second lower-order point that I am being forced to make as the council rejected my primary grounds for dispute at the informal challenge.

Chaseman - I did not keep the envelope but there was no postmark as it was a bulk mail. However I will argue that receiving the NTO 7 days after the date of NTO implies it was not posted first class on the NTO date (although I guess this could be shot down as not sure how I prove I received it when I did.

I would be very grateful if anyone could point me in the direction of the relevant part of the Regs (or a thread covering this issue) regarding point 2 I make in post#4 regarding the PCN not clearly stating the contravention due to overprinting onto the pre-printed part of the PCN?

Many thanks again for all the help from this forum

ld
londondoc
Update

Pleased to say that Wandsworth accepted my formal representations. The letter I sent was 3 pages long, challenging the PCN on all of the above points - the Notice of Acceptance made no reference to most of them(!) but accepted that the PCN was incorrectly printed as the printing of the contravention (and early payment details) were overlaid on the pre-printed part of the form making them virtually illegible. Would have been interested in their opinion as to the other arguments, but it is a win anyway! Thanks to all on the forum that offered help

LD
SchoolRunMum
Well done!
hcandersen
Well done.

At least they'll not feel obligated to re-paint the bay now.
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