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Apollo13
Hello all! wave.gif I was advised to visit this forum by a friend, who was with me when I approached my car and saw a PCN on my windscreen.

The facts are as follows (brief / to the point, as I appreciate there are lots of people posting stuff!).

I parked in a pay and display bay within Westminster. I used the PayByPhone app to pay for parking. The issue is that I own a car and also a moped. I use the moped on weekdays and the car at weekends (less traffic). I am the registered keeper and owner of both.

Without me giving it much thought, I had the moped's registration plate set as default within the app, hence, when I paid for parking, even though I thought I was paying for the car, I actually paid for the moped. I genuinely thought I was paying for the car and only discovered my error once I saw the ticket on my screen and I double checked my e-receipt, upon return.

Are members of this forum of the opinion that I would be able to appeal this successfully based on the facts above? ie. I paid for the parking slot, but the wrong registration was used.

smile.gif
Mad Mick V
Ask the Council to use discretion and cancel PCN due to a simple error on your part.

Otherwise this might be of use:-

http://www.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk/d...BM07586G_1_.pdf

You did not try to evade the parking charge and therefore IMO the Council should exercise its discretion and cancel the PCN.

This one's by way of Mr Mustard:-


Register Kept Under Regulation 20 of the Road Traffic (Parking Adjudicators)(London) Regulations 1993, as amended or Paragraph 21 of the Schedule to the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007, as applicable


Case Reference:2130000659
Appellant:Mr Michael Jacob Freedman
Authority:
Barnet
VRM:
BF06XRA
PCN:
AG19015501
Contravention Date:
11 Sep 2012
Contravention Time:
14:43
Contravention Location:
Edgwarebury Lane
Penalty Amount:£60.00
Contravention:Parked without payment of the parking charge
Decision Date:15 Mar 2013 Adjudicator:Neeti Haria
Appeal Decision:Allowed
Direction:cancel the Penalty Charge Notice and the Notice to Owner.

Reasons:
The appellant attended the hearing before me. He reiterated the statements made in his representations and Notice of Appeal. Basically he claims that payment of the parking charge was made and so he denies the contravention. He admits that he was subsequently made aware that the payment had been made in respect of his wife's vehicle and not his vehicle. He has detailed the steps taken upon parking in order to make the payment.

The Authority has produced a copy of Penalty Charge Notice, as well as the contemporaneous notes recorded by the civil enforcement officer.

The appellant basically claims the information given on the pay by phone system is not clear, he states that his wife was asked by a recorded message whether she wanted to use "the account", he said that she assumed this referred to something akin to a payment account and not to the vehicle registration mark. He said that at no point in the process was his wife informed of the vehicle registration mark against which payment was being taken.

The Authority is under a duty Regulation 18 (1) of the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure)(England & Wales) Regulations 1996 to ensure that the motorist is given adequate information as to what is required in order to comply with the restrictions.

The Authority has not produced any evidence as to the instructions given to motorists wishing to use the pay by phone system. The Authority has produced no evidence as to the steps the motorist should have taken in order to pay by phone for this vehicle as opposed to the other vehicle. The Authority has produced no evidence to show whether there are any written instructions on a sign plate informing the motorist of what he is required to do in order to pay by phone. On the evidence I cannot be satisfied that at the time of payment motorists are clearly informed that the payment made is being registered in respect of a particular vehicle registration mark. The burden is on the Authority to show that they have complied with their obligation under Regulation 18.

I allow the appeal.


Mick
DancingDad
It certainly is mitigation but whether council will accept or not is a different matter.

Bottom line is that car was not paid for.

Post the PCN and any signs you've got photos of...or a streetview link.

Often the thing people think applies doesn't.

Just on what you say it is certainly worth informal reps as they will likely re-offer the discount and if you show E receipt, explain details and nicely remind them that there has been no loss of revenue...maybe.
And how they reject may well give us more to work with, it often does.
BTW, you pressing the wrong button is your fault. Some confusion as to whether the app worked correctly leaves that in doubt. Don't tell lies but word any challenge carefully... run them by us first.

But scan and post the PCN first...remove personal details but leave times and dates in.
Apollo13
Hello everyone, please find attached:

1. PCN
2. Photos of location, outside 7 George Street, London (I parked in the space occupied by the silver Mercedes coupe in the picture)







Please advise if you see something untoward. I will shortly draft a letter and post it here. smile.gif

Many thanks!

smile.gif
DancingDad
Really need to see what the sign says and if that relates to the points made in Mick's post
Mad Mick V
The sign on GSV indicates pay by phone only.

There is nothing, I can see, in the TSRGD 2002 or amendments authorising phone payment signs so they would be subject to DfT approval.

However the only one applicable seems to be here:- http://assets.dft.gov.uk/trafficauths/case-2009.pdf

But this is noted as "Combined pay by phone and residents parking scheme boroughwide City of Westminster".

So, if this is not the combined sign, is it valid?

Mick
Apollo13
Please find attached a picture of the signs adjacent to the parking space.

Apollo13
EDIT: pls see my last post on p.2 of this thread for final wording of letter sent off. smile.gif
Apollo13
EDIT: pls see my last post on p.2 of this thread for final wording of letter sent off. smile.gif
DancingDad
I prefer the first version. Save for any admission that you were at fault in not choosing the right vehicle.

Try suumat like

On finding the pcn, I checked my payment details and realised that somehow the pay by phone app had used the details of my other vehicle, a Moped, reg xxxx. If this was my error it was totally inadvertent and with no thought of avoiding the payment that was actually made.
Apollo13
Thanks, DancingDad. Also a big thanks to Mick, I referred to the pdf link he posted above of a case which shares some similarities.

I will edit above letter as suggested and, unless there's anything else I should add, will send off later today.

smile.gif
Apollo13
Gents, I have a copy of the letter in an envelope ready to go, BUT, I have looked at the City of Westminster website and see that a challenge can be launched online:

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/challenge-your-parking-ticket

My question is whether an online challenge or one by post is better / likely to yield a better result? I don't know where the online challenge would be processed (abroad?), the postal appeal address is Warrington, on the other hand.

Any thoughts?

smile.gif
DancingDad
No difference.
Send both and get certificate of posting for postal one.
Keep receipt for online one.
hcandersen
I still think you're rather skipping over the essence of the principle identified in the adj decision.
How can you make an error, the system should be fool-proof and within reason not allow a motorist to make a mistake. For crying out loud, we see systems based on similar principles every day and they avoid errors by feeding back to the person inputting data to confirm that this is the action they've requested, and many ask the question again, just to be sure. B****r default options (AKA open-ended processes), they're a b****y recipe for disaster.
Apollo13
QUOTE (hcandersen @ Sat, 26 Apr 2014 - 19:20) *
I still think you're rather skipping over the essence of the principle identified in the adj decision.
How can you make an error, the system should be fool-proof and within reason not allow a motorist to make a mistake.


Should I re-write my letter adding this point? I do feel the application isn't the most difficult thing to use, but I can see how errors can occur quite easily if you have multiple vehicles set up on the app. Should I also make reference to this adjudication decision in my letter?
hcandersen
Why don't you tell us how it operated when you used it, what you did and what it did.
DancingDad
QUOTE (hcandersen @ Sat, 26 Apr 2014 - 19:20) *
I still think you're rather skipping over the essence of the principle identified in the adj decision.
How can you make an error, the system should be fool-proof and within reason not allow a motorist to make a mistake. For crying out loud, we see systems based on similar principles every day and they avoid errors by feeding back to the person inputting data to confirm that this is the action they've requested, and many ask the question again, just to be sure. B****r default options (AKA open-ended processes), they're a b****y recipe for disaster.


Good point.
It's taking what I said earlier further, do not accept it was your error.

After all, in olden days (couple of years ago) we parked, put cash in a machine, got a ticket and put that on the dashboard. No room for picking the wrong vehicle or wrong parking place. The car you parked was the one in the parking place and had the ticket you paid for. Apps ought to be as simple and foolproof.
Apollo13
Evening gents! smile.gif So, I have the app in front of me...

1. Once you open up the app, it immediately shows you the most recent location used and asks whether you wish to use that or input another location

2. I entered a new location as an example and clicked NEXT

3. Screen now shows a default vehicle ie. the one used most recently, in my case it is the moped (there is a button to change vehicle, but just like with the location, the default is whatever was last used). This screen also asks you to enter parking time, in minutes. I entered 10 mins and clicked NEXT

4. Now I'm on the final screen where it shows you the location, vehicle reg, parking expiry and cost. To confirm I need to enter the last 3 digits from my credit card. Once I do, parking will commence and I will get a receipt via email

That's how the process works...if you are in a hurry or are not concentrating 100%, you can mess it up (as I did!)
hcandersen
In which case my earlier comments would not appear to apply: the system is closed; the user is given two separate opportunities to input/review info before committing themselves; and an email is then sent.
Incandescent
The system is deeply flawed. If there are two or more vehicles registered to the user, then the user should be presented with a list of reg. nos, and an instruction "select vehicle". There should be NO default vehicle. This way means there is a positive selection by the user, rather than the system. I suspect however, that councils like to dine out on programming errors like this.
DancingDad
It still comes down to...
I made payment.
There was no attempt to avoid payment.
Somehow the app used the wrong vehicle
Apollo13
OK, so I sent my challenge electronically and also via post.

Key points below:

The confusion lies in the fact that, as the registered keeper and owner of both a moped (used on weekdays) and a car (used on weekends), the last used / default registration plate setting within the PayByPhone application appears as my moped (registration XXX) because it is used more frequently. Indeed, on the day in question, a Saturday, the last used / default setting within the application was for my scooter and hence the fact that I was parking my car instead of my moped was not taken into account. I only leant of this error upon my return, when I discovered a PCN had been issued.

I attach a copy of the cashless parking receipt showing a payment of £X for X minutes of parking at location XYZ. Payment was made using the mobile PayByPhone application.

In light of the circumstances above, I invite you to consider my challenge on the basis that:

1. The City of Westminster received full payment from myself for use of the bay while my vehicle was parked in that bay
2. There was no attempt to avoid payment in any way, shape or form
3. No loss of revenue was suffered by the City of Westminster
4. The PayByPhone application is not entirely fool-proof due to the manner in which it offers previously used details as a default option


Will update you all on the response I receive.

smile.gif
Apollo13
A quick update guys - I received a letter from Westminster Council, stating that in light of the circumstances, they have cancelled my PCN.

Many thanks to everybody who contributed and assisted me in my informal representation!

Now let's wait and see what Barnet have to say wink.gif
DancingDad
Nice one

Westminster are seeming to be more accepting of these errors then other councils.
Apollo13
Judging from the experience of others, both on this forum, reading around the internet, it does seem that Westminster are more fair than other councils. Again, thanks to all for their assistance. smile.gif
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