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I was hoping someone could help me formulate a letter to dispute a parking ticket I received today. I had to stop suddenly for circumstances out of my control to use the toilet. I had major abdominal surgery in Dec but have been cleared to drive. I assume this incident must be related.I had to leave my car to find a toilet as I was in too much pain to drive safely. I returned to find a Parking Officer at my car. As I am sure you understand I didn't want to go into great deal about why I had to leave the car as he had already issued the ticket. I aim to write explaining the circumstances but wondered if anyone could spot any mistakes on the ticket issued or guide in any legal jargon which the letter could quote I am the legal owner and only driver of the car and I could prove the operation and that I am current receiving employment and support allowance as I am unable to work due to pain.

I will attach a copy of the parking fine and the vehicle. Does anyone know if they actually interview the person that issued the tickets on receipt on a dispute?

Any help would be much appreciated.
No they don't.

IMO, unless issues arise with the PCN you have no statutory grounds on which to appeal.

Without wishing to sound harsh, your case is weakened by the fact that you had an operation 4 months ago as a result of which implicitly this problem arises.

Then don't drive. I know this sounds harsh, but IMO it's no different to driving a vehicle which has had major surgery and which has a propensity to break down. This does not create a situation beyond the driver's control.

You could of course argue mitigation or exceptional circumstances, but these rely on the exercise of the authority's discretion and would not give reasons for an adj to allow any appeal, assuming it got that far.

Or could you argue that this event was unprecedented?

Hi I have been cleared to drive and this was not expected but obvioulsy an unexpected result of the surgery
Leave in unexpected and avoid using obviously and we might get somewhere.

Has this happened before while driving?
No this has never happened. Despite this I read on this forum that a motorist stopping to use the toilet could be used in an appeal "On production of medical evidence confirming a related medical condition relevant at the time the PCN was issued and in support of the circumstances described"

I guess what would be the stronger argument? It was unexpected vs a known medical condition. Either could be argued.

Any help would be appreciated as this is additional stress I could certainly do without.
Would you pl post a goggle street view of where this incident occurred, or better still, the authority's photos.

Channing St. appears to be no more than 50 metres in length and without any restrictions. I can see a pair of 'Clearway' signs but IMO these are only advance notice to drivers because they apply to the tramway ahead, not to the road in which they're placed. You'll find similar signs in each of the side roads which join the tramway. Para. 9.7, page 77 refers:

And a few more details wouldn't go amiss e.g. I was driving along ...... road when I had a desperate need to visit the toilet. I turned into Channing... But why, did you know there were toilets, if so, how?

Currently, I think your first defence is that you were not stopped on a clearway, but more details first before you submit this. You have until 15th to submit a risk-free challenge i.e. the discount would be re-offered if unsuccessful.
Many thanks for this. Pictures and map of area below . l was driving along and suddenly felt ill and unsafe to drive. I pulled in to find a toilet (row of shops across the road so I assumed they would have one) I came back to find the officers at my car.

Many thanks
Emergency is always an exemption but whether or not council (unlikely) or adjudicator (possible) will accept depends on the emergency and whether it could be reasonably foreseen.

On the signs. These are Clearway start signs but actually refer to main carriageway in their title.
Placed at the junction where the side road joins as per guidelines but a little ways away from the actual junction.
As HCA infers, there is a good chance that the actual No Stopping restriction applies only to the main road and not the side street. Only the traffic regulation order will tell us that. These signs can only reflect the TRO, they have no effect without one.
Any tips on how to upload pictures? Its saying file size too large if I post them on a word document.

Post them on a free host site and link back to here.
Here is a map of the street
These are your problem

In theory the contravention is stopping at any point past them but as they obviously apply to the main road, there is a good chance that the related traffic order does not apply in the side road. But need to see it to work out if or not.
Link to the photos here. How do I find out what is in the traffic regulation order and what does IMO mean?

Don't worry about the TRO at present. Get them to provide it.

Submit your challenge on the grounds that the contravention did not occur:
1. There is no prohibition on stopping at the location. Although a traffic sign to diagram 645 (used in combination with diagram 642) is situated in Channing Street, this does not extend the clearway restriction on Langsett Road into Channing, it is placed there because this is the first convenient location off Langsett for a traffic sign to be placed - it cannot be placed in Langsett neither can it be placed in Channing too close to its junction with Langsett for fear that a motorist who is attempting to negotiate the turn and look out for pedestrians etc. would miss it. The traffic authority have placed the sign in exactly the correct place. However, the CEO of the enforcement authority has misunderstood its purpose which is not to mark an extension of the clearway into Channing but to inform motorists that the restriction in Langsett has ended.

As there is no prohibition on stopping in Channing and my vehicle was located in this road, the contravention did not occur.

2. In addition to the above I had to stop at this location because...... OP, this is your part.

If the authority reject this challenge, then this could only be because they believe that a prohibition on stopping exists at the location. In this case I require them to provide me with a copy of the relevant traffic order, schedules, plans and maps, as appropriate, with their rejection.
Plus 1

IMO=In my opinion
Fantastic thanks so much for your help. Which did you think was the stronger argument in terms of illness? Proving a medical condition or a situation out of my control which was unexpected.

Being ill is not an exemption to the prohibition on stopping, it is stopped for reasons beyond the driver's control. So you lay it out starting with the exemption and then your reasons why you believe you may rely on it.

..I stopped for reasons beyond my control which is an exemption to the prohibitin on stopping. This arose because ...your illness etc.

Your stronger point is that there wasn't a prohibition in the first place.
I have now submitted my appeal so fingers crossed. One further question. Is there any restriction on the traffic enforcement officers to view the car for 5 minutes as I noticed my was only viewed for 2?

A stopping prohibition is the most restrictive of restrictions. The only grounds are that stopping was due to circumstances beyond a driver's control. The mere fact that the vehicle was stationary without being attended would have been sufficient. But whether the authority's policies require something different is anyone's guess. But we're not in the guessing game.

Sometimes tactics dictate that a motorist should present at least 2 points, the substantive one which the authority know is a killer but they would be embarrassed to admit and the easy out which allows them to 'exercise discretion' AKA duck the real issue.

You've already given them an easy exit option if they want to take it.

Amazing news they cancelled my PCN!!!!! Thanks so much for everyone help. I have attached the response. intrigued what people think of the response.

"Thank you for writing to us. Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in responding to your correspondence.

We have cancelled your Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) after carefully considering your points.

Thank you for writing to us about the above Penalty Charge Notice. Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in responding to you.

You were issued with a Penalty Charge Notice for stopping on a clearway. The start of a clearway is marked by a ‘no stopping’ sign; the end is marked by the same sign with the word ‘End’ below it; markings such as yellow lines are not required.

You are not allowed to park on a clearway, however briefly, even to load or unload. This rule applies 24 hours a day. Clearways are usually on main roads but sometimes extend into side roads to keep junctions clear.

Although your vehicle was contravening a no stopping restriction, we have noted your comments that you did not see or understand the signage. We will agree to cancel your Penalty Charge Notice on this occasion. Please note that any further tickets incurred under similar circumstances may not be cancelled"

Thanks again
Well done, so your need to stop was considered of no relevance ! It is certainly strange for a council to cancel a PCN because the appellant said he didn't understand the signs, especially Clearway signs that have been around since the year dot, (or almost !!)
I think they were implying I didnt understand the signage which is weird as I pointed out their mistake!

"Although your vehicle was contravening a no stopping restriction, we have noted your comments that you did not see or understand the signage. We will agree to cancel your Penalty Charge Notice on this occasion. Please note that any further tickets incurred under similar circumstances may not be cancelled"
Reading between the lines..... Oooops, you are totally correct and the clearway does not apply where you were stopped. But we are not going to admit it.

Well done, good result.
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