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slipperyshoe
Hi All

My car was towed in Hackney from under a railway bridge where supposedly there was works being undertaken. I genuinely did not see the sign that said this (bet everyone says that!) and appealed the decision. I had thought that they would simply refund but to my dismay they have upheld the decision. My appeal letter is below:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing in appeal of the alleged contravention on the grounds that there was no clear signage to indicate a parking suspension. Therefore the contravention did not occur and there was a procedural impropriety.

On the date in question I was attending a meeting with Hackney Homes at Christopher Addison House. I entered Wilton Way via Penpoli Road and made a left turn onto Wilton Way to try and find a parking space. There were no spaces at that end of Wilton Way so I turned around at the bollards and made my way back down Wilton Way to look for an available bay. The first space I came to was near the bridge. Although I am not local, I had previously been to a meeting at the Town Hall and this is where I have always parked before. Upon parking, I had a ticket machine immediately behind me so I exited my vehicle to get the reference number for 'Pay and Park'. Upon getting this number I then dialled the number and walked back up Wilton Way (towards Town Hall) whilst diligently booking the correct number of hours parking that I required.

On returning to my vehicle I was shocked to see that it was no longer there and instead there were two further vehicles parked in its place (under the bridge). I genuinely thought my car had been stolen and began to panic. At this point I ran up and down the road in the hope that I had made an error in recalling where I had parked. It was only at this point that I realised there were some very small signs at the opposite end of the bridge stating that parking was suspended due to rail works on the bridge (although there was no evidence of this either when I parked or when I returned).

The PCN and subsequent debacle on getting my vehicle back was extremely frustrating and upsetting for me. I also incurred costs getting to the pound and costs for the company I work for.

I will not add any further legal references to this regarding the Traffic Management Act 2004 (though I assure you that Hackney are in breach of many of them!), but will include the following:

8.35 Authorities should not issue PCNs when traffic signs or road markings are
incorrect, missing or not in accordance with the TRO. These circumstances
may make the Order unenforceable. If a representation against a PCN shows
that a traffic sign or road marking was defective, the authority should accept
the representation because the adjudicator is likely to uphold any appeal.
An enforcement authority may be acting unlawfully and may damage its
reputation if it continues to issue PCNs that it knows to be unenforceable.

The above advice was given in addition to the Secretary of State’s statutory guidance when the DfT published further guidance for the benefit of Local Authorities. This publication is known as the “Operational Guidance to Local Authorities” and this gives further clarification in regard to traffic signs.

I have included a USB stick with both photographic and video evidence which clearly shows that there was improper signage. In addition the fact that there were two further cars parked in the very same spot (and actually even further under the bridge!) also shows that the signage was insufficient and confusing for motorists.

With this in mind I urge you to refund both my PCN charge and the cost of the taxi that took me to Hackney Car Pound (receipt for £6 is attached).

................
I also sent in some pictures (see attached)

................

Appeal came back as rejected today. Interesting to see that they claim to have attached a PCN at 12.55 but their picture at 12.57 does not appear to show a PCN (it is from quite a long distance away as next to the sign so I cannot tell that 100%!).

Any help is much appreciated.



I have also uploaded their letter and 'evidence' pictures.
Mad Mick V
Its in your interests to take this all the way to PATAS in order to recover costs.

The sign you photographed is not the suspension sign authorised by DfT:_

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/trafficauths/case-3918.pdf

Post up the PCN and the docs you got at the pound.

Mick
slipperyshoe
Thanks for your reply. Aaah! I'm an idiot as all the docs were returned with my appeal to Hackney. I have none at all, nothing but their notice of rejection.
Az2010
Hi, write back to them and request all original documents to be returned - as they are bound to have it filed.
If you wish for the forum to give you solid advice on how your fight case
slipperyshoe
Hi, I do not have time to do that unfortunately as I am going away to SA for my brothers wedding for 3 weeks this Thursday; By the time I return I will be outside the deadline.

So far the reasons I will give to PATAS are:

-my original letter, photo and video showing that there was no signage
-the photo and evidence showing that sign was not that authorised by the DfT

Does anybody know of a law/recommendation concerning signage at either end of suspension? If so this would be the easiest way to get the charge refunded as there were 2 signs, on either side of the road but only at one end of the suspended zone (the opposite end to where I was!).

Thanks
hcandersen
You've obviously done some research, but as is said: a little bit of knowledge can be a bad thing.

As I understand the facts of this case:

You say you checked the prevailing parking restrictions at the location by going to a ticket m/c which was "immediately behind" where you were and that you paid for parking using pay-by-phone for that specific location. By implication, your payment was accepted.

The authority refer to a traffic sign which appears to be ahead of your car and on which was placed a parking suspended sign.

IMO, that's it.

So, did the ticket m/c constitute a traffic sign; if the bay was suspended should the m/c have been hooded, had its operations suspended and/or carried a parking suspended sign? If yes and it didn't then IMO the presence or otherwise of a distant traffic sign with a parking suspended sign (how would you know what the sign said, you had no obligation to go to it) is irrelevant.

So IMO this is the battleground.

Now for the tactics:
You complete the appeals registration form, select a date for a personal hearing that takes control of time i.e. is sufficiently far into the future that you can carry out further investigations with a view to adding to your skeleton argument even allowing for your travel arrangements. Remember, you choose the date of a hearing, not PATAS.


I suggest the grounds of contravention did not occur and procedural impropriety.
Incandescent
QUOTE
Hi, I do not have time to do that unfortunately as I am going away to SA for my brothers wedding for 3 weeks this Thursday; By the time I return I will be outside the deadline.


It is a total, absolute, no-brainer to take them all the way to PATAS. You can register your appeal plus a brief summary of the grounds for an appeal, with "details to follow". As HCA says, select a date well into the period you will be back in the UK. You have already paid all there is to pay, and there are no additional charges at PATAS
slipperyshoe
Great stuff. I will certainly do that. I have a small application form on the back of the PATAS appeal form, can I add to my evidence as and when (for instance when Hackney send me back my original documents?). Can I charge Hackney for my time? My company has offered me the services of our solicitors, shall I take them up on this?!

Thanks for all of your help so far.....
SchoolRunMum
QUOTE
Can I charge Hackney for my time? My company has offered me the services of our solicitors, shall I take them up on this?!


Nope.
slipperyshoe
QUOTE (SchoolRunMum @ Sun, 16 Feb 2014 - 01:14) *
QUOTE
Can I charge Hackney for my time? My company has offered me the services of our solicitors, shall I take them up on this?!


Nope.


Well I guess I better waste some of their time, since they are clearing wasting some of mine!
EDW
QUOTE (slipperyshoe @ Sun, 16 Feb 2014 - 01:17) *
QUOTE (SchoolRunMum @ Sun, 16 Feb 2014 - 01:14) *
QUOTE
Can I charge Hackney for my time? My company has offered me the services of our solicitors, shall I take them up on this?!


Nope.


Well I guess I better waste some of their time, since they are clearing wasting some of mine!



Ask for appeal hearing on 1 April 2014 at 2.pm with the others.
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