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TigerRob
Good afternoon, I'm in urgent need of some advice. I've just been asked to help a fellow parent with a case which is very similar to one I had a successfully challenge on recently (all details of my recent challenge here.)

I was only given the documentation today, and there has already been an unsuccessful challenge, and the 14 day extended period for reduced payment will runout tomorrow (if I've got the dates right).

I'll post documents as soon as I have permission to do so, but at this stage it looks like the following:

(1) Ticket code 12R issued (date of service) on the 10/10/14. Ticket looks OK (other than the issues found in my other thread, possible wrong code, multiple-choice offence description). We're not disputing the issue of the ticket, despite the fact that the CEO was present and saw the driver returning with Children).
(2) Challenge sent on 10/10/14 - clearly states that driver was picking up children from the nearby school.
(3) Notice of Decline of Challenge sent 28/10/2014. In my option notice fails to consider the circumstances (and even says: in places where you are allowed to stop to pick up or drop off a passenger .... And you must stay with your vehicle (unless the person you are picking up or dropping off is ... a child)).
(4) Notice of decline extends ability to pay at reduced rate by 14 days - which I believe expires tomorrow.

Unless advised otherwise I hope to get a second informal challenge in tonight (by email, and follow-up with posted copy), something along the lines of:
- thank you for your response, I believe that you have failed to consider the circumstances. In the spirt of trying to avoid the cost and effort of going to PATASI'd like you to reconsider an assisted alighting/boarding exemption.
- Re state facts and support with material from my earlier challenge.
- Include letter from school stating that children go there and were picked up by driver on 10/10/14 - driver should be getting this letter from the school today.
- Request further information if this second challenge is declined (CEO notes, TMO, etc)

This approach will hopefully (if not on its own successful), buy us a little more time to consider options for further challenges (and to make a decision whether to pay the reduced rate or not, although the person who has requested help has suggested they'd like to fight this one all the way).

For completeness, and for my record here is the list of possible challenges that I see so far:
- Boarding/Alighting exemption
- Correct code (12R is for residents bays, this is a permit holders bay)
- Menu of choices on offence description
- Failure to consider on first challenge.

More details as soon as I have permission, but I'd much appreciate *any* thoughts on whether a second informal challenge could be detrimental.

Rob.
DancingDad
Boarding alighting may not apply in a parking bay.
Could really do with seeing what council rejected on/wording if nothing else.

what you don't want to do is simply rehash original challenge to keep within a discount that may not be re-offered.
TigerRob
Adding (redacted) documentation:

PCN - Side 1

PCN - Side 2

Challenge

Decline of challenge


[EDIT to add]
Decline Page 2


Rob.


QUOTE (DancingDad @ Mon, 10 Nov 2014 - 14:47) *
Boarding alighting may not apply in a parking bay.
Could really do with seeing what council rejected on/wording if nothing else.

what you don't want to do is simply rehash original challenge to keep within a discount that may not be re-offered.


Hi DD,

All docs that I have are now posted. This is exactly the sort of comment that I need to be able to think about. The original challenge is not in any way good, but I feel that the failure to consider (unless it's on th other side of the decline notice, which I haven't seen yet) opens a way for a second challenge, where we can make the points much more clearly, and ask for the explicit exemption to be considered.

I'll try to knock up a wording for a second challenge later tonight, so you you guys might have an opportunity to comment.

Rob.

QUOTE (DancingDad @ Mon, 10 Nov 2014 - 14:47) *
Boarding alighting may not apply in a parking bay.


It may not (but without seeing the TMO we won't know for sure). In Ealing it is very lightly to apply and I've not seen a residents permit bay without one yet. Anyway, I suspect we should assume such an exemption applies and let them tell us if it doesn't.

And we have the Ealing council Code of Practice for Civil Parking and Traffic Enforcement (Oct 2014) that explicitly gives an exemption for residents bays near schools for 10 minutes when picking kids up from school (See text at end of section 2.3.3).

Rob.
DancingDad
The original challenge seems right on point with the existence of Ealing's code of practice and a specified exemption. In the rejection they even mention Boarding Alighting being alright in these permit bays "unless children, elderly etc" so I would assume as you that it exists and they must not only prove it doesn't but that their published policy has no effect.

Dear Sirs
I note that you rely on evidence within your possession that contradicts my original challenge. That I was collecting my child(ren) and was well within the 10 minute allowance provided within your published parking policy.
I cannot imagine what such evidence would be as I have simply stated the truth but ask that you supply all evidence that you rely on so I may consider the worth or otherwise of further appeals.
I ask that you consider this further representations and that if such evidence cannot be produced, that the PCN is cancelled as there would be insufficient grounds to continue enforcement.
Hugs and Kisses
TigerRob
Here's a draft for consideration:

CODE
I wish to make the following informal representation against the alleged contravention detailed in PCN Number XXXXXX.

Thank you for you letter ‘NOTICE OF DECLINE OF CHALLENGE’, dated 28th October.  I note what has been said, but believe that you have failed to consider the fact that my passenger was a child that I was picking up from school, and would ask that you read the details below and reconsider your position.

I fully understand how the PCN came be issued, but wish to claim an exemption for assisted boarding. I am fully confident that once you have read the facts below you will see fit to cancel the PCN.

All references below to “the Code of Practice” refer to “Code of Practice For Civil Parking and Traffic Enforcement - October 2014 - London Borough of Ealing Parking Services” as available for public download from the Council’s website.

On Friday 10th October 2014 at around 3:30pm, I arrived outside Durston House School, 12 Castlebar Road, Ealing, London, W5 2DR, in order to collect my X year old son where he had been attending for the day.  With consideration for the safety of my vehicle, passengers and other road users, and to make the pick-up as quick as possible I stopped in the nearest available space to the school, which was in the permit holders’ bay as alleged by the CEO. I was stopped only for as long as was necessary to complete the pickup.  I attach a letter from the school confirming that my son attends the school, that school finishes at 3:30pm, and that I picked him up on that day.

It appears that the Council accept that there is an exemption allowed for setting down/picking up (alighting/boarding) at the place that I was parked, as evidenced by the Code of Practice, which says for observations under Contravention 12 (page 16):
“if there is evidence of setting down/picking up passengers and luggage is observed, then casual observation to be followed”.

It further appears that the Council accept that there is an exemption allowed for assisted boarding/alighting in residents’ parking bays, as evidenced by the Code of Practice, which says in section 2.3.3:
“If you park in a resident parking bay near a school whilst dropping off or picking up your child, you can park for up to ten minutes for free”.

I kindly request that you consider the above representation and cancel the PCN.

Should you choose not to cancel the PCN then:
- Please explain why Contravention 12r is the applicable contravention for a ‘permit holders only’ bay (this is the bay marking clearly identified in the CEO’s photographs)
- Assuming that Contravention 12r is the correct code then please confirm which of the many options presented in the contravention description (“Parked in a residents’ or shared use parking place or zone without either clearly displaying a valid permit or voucher or pay and display ticket issues for that place, or without payment of the parking charge”) you believe apply to this specific contravention. I am confused as none of the stated options fit the actual circumstances that I think led to the contravention.  Is there a reason why the PCN does not explicitly state the exact contravention?
- Please supply me with a copy of the CEO notes regarding the incident.
- Please supply me with all relevant Traffic Management Orders for the bay in which the alleged offence took place.
Responses to the above points are essential for me to be able to correctly proceed at the next stages of appeal.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours faithfully,



QUOTE (DancingDad @ Mon, 10 Nov 2014 - 15:51) *
The original challenge seems right on point with the existence of Ealing's code of practice and a specified exemption. In the rejection they even mention Boarding Alighting being alright in these permit bays "unless children, elderly etc" so I would assume as you that it exists and they must not only prove it doesn't but that their published policy has no effect.

Dear Sirs
I note that you rely on evidence within your possession that contradicts my original challenge. That I was collecting my child(ren) and was well within the 10 minute allowance provided within your published parking policy.
I cannot imagine what such evidence would be as I have simply stated the truth but ask that you supply all evidence that you rely on so I may consider the worth or otherwise of further appeals.
I ask that you consider this further representations and that if such evidence cannot be produced, that the PCN is cancelled as there would be insufficient grounds to continue enforcement.
Hugs and Kisses


Crossed post with you. Yours is shorter. I think mine covers the main points. Personally I think that the main thing that was missing from the original challenge (although the decline didn't say so) was any real evidence that the school pick up occured (cf. the need for a delivery note etc. for loading/unloading exemption).

I'll try to cut a bit of the flannel out from mine, but think it looks good once formatted. Mine also lays a line with a few hooks for then to get snagged on. I'll tyr to work your "I cannot imagine what such evidence would be as I have simply stated the truth but ask that you supply all evidence that you rely on so I may consider the worth or otherwise of further appeals." into my response.



Rob.
TigerRob
OK, I just added the reverse side of the decline notice. We're not under quite as much time pressure as I though as they kindly give us 14 days from date of service, which if I remember correctly is assumed to be 2 working days after date of postage (which I will assume is the same as the date on the letter, given that I doubt the original envelope has been kept).

It does however say "please do not make a further challenge as we reserve the right to disregard any further correspondence to the notice before the NTO is served". I believe that they are fettering their discretion here, as I believe that the law allows for multiple challenges. I still believe that the best course of action is another informal challenge.

Any further comments?

Rob.

And for the record we now have:
- Boarding/Alighting exemption
- Correct code (12R is for residents bays, this is a permit holders bay)
- Menu of choices on offence description
- Failure to consider on first challenge.
- Fettering of discretion/limiting of options by not allowing further challenges.

One more thing - please could someone confirm when the 14 day reduced rate period ends, based on the wording in the decline notice. It's either Wednesday or Thursday this week (date of letter 28 Oct, counts as day 1; +2 days for service; + 14days gives Wednesday 12th Nov?)

R.
DancingDad
Seems like Wednesday to me if you have counted correctly, formula and start date is correct.

Rob, I would not throw that lot at them at the moment. Save most for the NTO.

I do agree a second, mainly to reinforce the boarding alighting and get whatever evidence they may have but getting too detailed now may well backfire if it gets to adjudication.
TigerRob
Thanks DD. I agree with not getting too technical - something like the draft I posted above, which worked well for me last time: major on the truth, and ask for the assisted boarding exemption. Ask some leading questions which may lead to additional avenues, depending on answers if they fail to do the right thing and cancel the PCN.

Will update once I know how they want to proceed, but I feel this is a pretty strong one.

R.
hcandersen
IMO, your grounds are legitimate expectation and at this stage I would write back and give them both barrels of 2.3.3, a policy which creates a legitimate expectation for any motorist, residency is not a condition, that they may park in a resident's bay (by the way, it isn't a resident's bay, it's a permit holder's bay, but as the authority have acknowledged in their reply that it is a resident's bay, then they're bound by the policy) for up to 10 minutes 'free'.

They've not challenged your claim that you parked for less than 10 minutes.

It matters not whether this exemption actually exists in the traffic order, the council have created a legitimate expectation by publishing this policy. Neither does the policy require you to carry a letter. Note how the self-appointed guardians of the road have added additional conditions to the policy which the council did not, and it's taken them less than a month. In addition, they've attempted to grant carte blanche to CEOs to ignore any instruction.... but this does not extend to officers when considering reps.

Did the Portfolio Holder actually read this before putting his or her name to it?



TigerRob
QUOTE (hcandersen @ Mon, 10 Nov 2014 - 20:35) *
IMO, your grounds are legitimate expectation and at this stage I would write back and give them both barrels of 2.3.3, a policy which creates a legitimate expectation for any motorist, residency is not a condition, that they may park in a resident's bay (by the way, it isn't a resident's bay, it's a permit holder's bay, but as the authority have acknowledged in their reply that it is a resident's bay, then they're bound by the policy) for up to 10 minutes 'free'.

They've not challenged your claim that you parked for less than 10 minutes.

It matters not whether this exemption actually exists in the traffic order, the council have created a legitimate expectation by publishing this policy. Neither does the policy require you to carry a letter. Note how the self-appointed guardians of the road have added additional conditions to the policy which the council did not, and it's taken them less than a month. In addition, they've attempted to grant carte blanche to CEOs to ignore any instruction.... but this does not extend to officers when considering reps.

Did the Portfolio Holder actually read this before putting his or her name to it?


Hi HC.

This going to go off-topic a bit, but it's an interesting discussion.

Firstly, the Code of Practice Document that I linked to, although dated October 2014, is actually only a small revision on previous version (I believe to bring the codes into line with what is current). The Code has been in place for many years, and this additional "exemption" has existed for some time, and there appear to be a number of undocumented caveats.

Without this additional "exemption", there would still be a case for a (assisted) boarding/alighting exemption, assuming such an exemption exists in the CPZ in question. I have yet to see an Ealing CPZ that doesn't have a boarding/alighting exemption (although I accept that one might exist). Even with the additional "exemption", if a car is parked and the occupants are not present there is no way for the CEO to tell the reason that the car is parked, and so it would be reasonable to expect for a PCN to be issued (after the recommended 3 minute observation period).

What the additional Ealing "exemption" provides for is a challenge that they should automatically accept if the parking period is less than 10 minutes, it is "near" a school and it can be proven that the reason for parking was a school drop-off/pick-up. Of course even if it wasn't for a school drop-off/pick-up there would be an exemption for assisted boarding/alighting, but the burden of proof would, I suspect, be higher.

From speaking to CEOs I now know that they will only not issue a ticket if (1) it is between 8:30-9:30am and 3-4pm, (2) there is a note displayed on school headed paper stating that it is a pick-up/drop-off at the nearby school; and (3) the time is less than 10 minutes - although tI suspect that unless there are other reasons the CEOs wouldn't normally hang around for as long as 10 minutes. Neither (1) nor (2) are mentioned in the code of practice.

In this case a note was not displayed, so I think it entirely reasonable that a ticket was issued - but the initial challenge should, in my opinion, have been enough for the ticket to be cancelled. The plan now is to spell it out to them, and try to build an appropriate case to take to PATAS should they remain unreasonable.

I like, and will remember for future, your observation that the code of practice set an expectation for this exemption to be available in all resident's bays (near schools) even if the TMO doesn't allow for one.

Rob.
DancingDad
Agree totally Rob (and HCA)
To me it is basic, if the policy exists and is published, the motorist can be expected to follow it even if the policy is not a true reflection of the TMO.
As should the CEOs.

I may disagree on tactics (which is simply my opinion) but not on the fundamentals.
hcandersen
OP, it's been published. It matters not whether it's the same as the one it replaces or only marginally different, neither does it matter whether this has been around for years. And unpublished caveats are of no material significance.

It is the concil's policy.

And CPZs have nothing to do with this contravention because it occurred in a parking place - CPZs deal with yellow lines (there are some exceptions, but they do not apply in this case).
TigerRob
Just to update. Second informal challenge was lodged by email on Tuesday 12th November. The Council's website currently shows the status as 'pre-NTO challenge received' and shows the outstanding amount as the reduced £55. I take this to be an indication that they have received and are considering the second challenge.

I will update with the challenge letter when I have more time.
TigerRob
So great news - the second challenge has been accepted, and the PCN cancelled. Thank you to everyone, once more, for all your helpful advice.

Challenge:





Acceptance:
Incandescent
Well done !
DancingDad
Nice one Rob
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