Monday, 9 January 2017

London Tribunals - March 16

an empty car


In the month of March 16 there were 111 Appeals considered by adjudicators. Of those 68 went the way of the motorist, a satisfying 61% and comfortably above the norm of 50%

Four cases were of note.

Do not leave your car empty whilst dropping off passengers (but you can).

This is what the adjudicator had to say.

There seems to me no reason to doubt the Appellant’s evidence, now supported by a letter from his employers, that at the time the vehicle was observed waiting the Appellant was in the process of attempting to make contact with his passenger. The very brief observation period does nothing to suggest that any other activity was in progress. I am satisfied the Appellant was within the exemption relied on and the Appeal is therefore allowed.

The Council should note, and note carefully, that it is not the law that a driver may not leave the vehicle for this purpose (whatever the advice of the Public Carriage office might be). The leading case of R v The Parking Adjudicator on the application of Makda (2010) EWHV 3392(Admin) makes it clear that a PHV driver is permitted a reasonable time to identify the passenger, or to conclude that the passenger is not there, as that is a necessary part of the picking up process. There is nothing in that decision to require the driver to remain in the vehicle whilst doing so – something that in many situations would be impossible. 

The Council’s consideration of the representations in the light of a self-imposed limitation on the law would amount to a procedural impropriety and the Appeal would have fallen to be allowed for that reason alone.
 

What do the council write nowadays? the very same thing, that you must not leave a car unattended whilst dropping off passengers. Oh dear.

What a liar

Ms Jones appeared before me today for the personal hearing of her appeal. She gave evidence in the same terms as her earlier representations to the Enforcement Authority and her Notice of Appeal, adding further details to her account.

Should does not dispute that her car was parked in a residents’ bay without a permit when it was seen by a Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO). At the hearing she amplified the account she had previously given to the Authority. She had spent the previous night at the flat of her boyfriend, Luke Smith. She had parked her car in this residents’ bay at a time when restrictions did not apply. She was aware that they applied from 10 am to 11 am, but normally would not have been there during the week, but only at weekends. Consequently she forgot that the restrictions would come into force the following day.

However she and her boyfriend saw a CEO at the car from his flat window, and so she went out to speak to him. She was surprised at how pleasant he was, and is quite clear that he reassured her that he would not issue a PCN, and indeed both wished her a Merry Christmas and even gave her advice as to where she could park in a nearby street without risk of enforcement. As Mr Smith says in his witness statement, she told him how helpful the officer had been.

The CEO has recorded that the driver returned and drove away before he could complete preparing this Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), but Ms Jones is adamant that he was not preparing a PCN, and that in any event she did not drive off so as to prevent him from serving one. Indeed she is quite clear that he positively undertook not to issue one, as well as giving her advice as to where she could park safely.

There is thus a direct conflict of evidence in this case. However I have had the advantage over the Authority of hearing from Ms Jones in person, and found her a convincing and credible witness. Her account is also supported by the witness statement from Mr Smith. I accept Ms Jones’s evidence regarding this conversation. I find as a fact that she was given an express assurance by the CEO to the effect that he would not be issuing a PCN. This gave rise to a legitimate expectation on her part that none would be issued. It is immaterial that the CEO may not have had any authority to give that assurance. I am also satisfied that the conditions that entitle the Authority to issue a PCN by post under Regulation 10 of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007 had not arisen, so that they were not entitled to do so.

Accordingly I allow this appeal.


PayByPhone bug

Mr Oldcar attended the personal hearing listed for today. I found him to be a very honest and sincere witness.

Mr Oldcar denies the contravention stating that he regularly parks his car near the station to commute to work and uses the text by phone payment system.

This requires him to text the first four digits which is the location code, followed by the number of minutes he wishes to park (usually 570 minutes) followed by the last three digits of his credit card. This should register the payment to his vehicle AB55CDE. There is no need to enter the vehicle registration details or any option to change the vehicle by text so the error cannot be on his part. He showed the text number on his phone which showed the same pattern of texts verifying his account.

In addition he produced a print out of his payment receipts for the last 2 years which show approximately 150 entries all registered with the appellant's current VRM number AB55CDE.

There are only two entries on 18th and 22nd September where unbeknown to the appellant at the time the payment was credited to an old vehicle which he had sold more than 5 years ago. He received this PCN for the alleged contravention of the 22nd September.

The local authority have not produced any evidence that the pay by phone system was working properly. The onus is on the local authority as the pay by phone system is operated by the local authority's contractors.The Appellant tried to raise the issue directly with Pay by Phone but who refused to deal with him stating that he had to contact the local authority and appeal.

It is very clear from the appellants evidence that there was a system error and the money was credited by the computer systems to the an old obsolete vehicle. I accept that It could not have been inputted incorrectly by the appellant as there is no option to select a vehicle.

I am therefore not satisfied that the contravention did occur and allow this appeal.


Late suspension

I note from the case summary that the suspension sign was erected on 11 November 2016; which is the day before the suspension came into effect.

I find that the erection of the suspension notice was too near the suspended period.


Keep those Appeals coming, it is worth the tiny effort involved.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Thursday, 15 December 2016

London Tribunals - February 2016


In February 2016, there were 162 decisions at the tribunal for Barnet Council of which 85, that is 52%, went the way of the motorist. That is a typical result.

The indivdual decisions were a mixed bag of various topics and the interesting decisions, in the written reports of the traffic adjudicators, all of which led to the PCN being cancelled, were as follows:

Dedicated disabled bays - The Appellant’s wife, a disabled badge holder, parked in what she thought was a disabled bay. The bay had the legend DISABLED and the sign read Disabled permit holder 095 only. She thought that the number referred to a zone as she was unaware that there could be bay reserved for the exclusive use of one particular badge holder. The Appellant argues that the sign is misleading and challenges it.

The sign is not permitted by the Traffic Signs Regulations & General Directions 2002. It does not comply with 661A and its permitted variants – the wheelchair symbol is missing and the word permit replaces the word badge. Neither does it comply with any of the 660 signs or their permitted variants as the word disabled is not allowed. As such the sign must have special authorisation of the DoT, but no such authorisation has been produced. In these circumstances I find that the sign substantially non- compliant.

Footway was actually private land - The Appellant attended this hearing together with a friend who lives in the block of flats she was visiting when this Penalty Charge Notice was issued to her vehicle.

The contravention the Appellant is said to have committed is set out in s15(1) Greater London Council (General Powers)Act 1974 - Save as provided in subsections (3), (4), (7) and (11), any person who causes or permits any vehicle to be parked in Greater London with one or more wheels on or over any part of a road other than a carriageway or on or over a footpath, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.

The Appellant says that she parked on the pavement adjacent to the access or slip road to the block of flats and this was part of the property owned by the freeholders of the block. Her friend confirmed this.

The council maintain that as the public have access to the area and no proof has been given that it is private land the Penalty Charge Notice was properly issued.

From the photographs that the Appellant showed me, the area in question is quite clearly part of the block of flats and is an access road or forecourt. Between it and the carriageway is a public pavement broken only by dropped footway for access.

There is another pavement between the access road or forecourt and the block of flats. Whilst the public would have access to it if visiting the block of flats, but for no other purpose
given the public pavement referred to above, it does not make that area into a road other than a carriageway or a footpath.

I allow this appeal as I am not satisfied that where the vehicle was parked was a road other than a carriageway or a footpath.

Bunns Lane Car Park 3 hours free - he allegation in this case is that the vehicle was parked without payment of the parking charge. Mr. A says that he parked on a Saturday, read the tariff board and believed he was entitled simply to park without payment.

The Enforcement Authority have provided a photograph of the relevant conditions of use plate. There is a box giving the tariffs for the bay. This indicates ‘Saturday 8am-6.30pm Up to 3 hours No Charge/Free’. The Enforcement Authority rely on a statement at the bottom of the box ‘FREE PARKING SESSION MUST BE REGISTERED BY PHONE’. However, beyond the use of capitals this direction enjoys no special prominence.

I regard this as a borderline case. However, having considered the matter carefully I do not feel able to say that the signage was clear and adequate to inform the motorist. Accordingly I allow the appeal.

Crossing the bus lane to access premises - The Appellant's case, which I have heard from him in person, is that having executed a lawful U-turn he entered the bus lane in order to gain access to adjacent premises where he had a pickup to make. The relevant Traffic Management Order contains the usual exemption allowing vehicles to cross a bus lane for
such a purpose. The issue in this case is therefore essentially whether in all the circumstances the Appellant's vehicle would fall within that exemption. The distances are quite short and there seems to me some force in the Appellant's submission that it would be unsafe to require his vehicle to pursue a zig-zag course of leaving the bus lane only to turn back across it immediately.

In my judgement the exemption for crossing does not require the vehicle to cross at a right angle and only at a right angle. There are questions of fact and degree in these cases. The
Council has not provided a copy of the CCTV evidence and in its absence it seems to me probable on the particular facts of this case that the exemption would apply. The Appeal is
therefore allowed.

Signing of the overnight waiting ban - I do not have a great deal of sympathy with the Appellant . The sign shown in her photograph indicating the presnce of an overnight prohibition on waiting for buses and lorries has no application at all to the single yellow line. It is simply the sign required by regulations to be present in every street within a Zone prohibiting overnight parking by HGVs. Motorists are required to be aware of the meaning of legally prescribed traffic signs and must take steps to familiarise themselves with them if
necessary. It also looks as if, given the fact that previous PCNs have been issued, the Appellant ought to have been well aware of the waiting restriction in place whether or not those appeals were allowed.

Nevertheless I take the view that where an issue as to the clarity of signage arises a failure by a Council to follow the recommendations of the Traffic Signs Manual, the official government guidance, inevitably puts the Council in some difficulty . The TSM Chapter 3 Para 12.11 specifically recommends that where there are two types of Zone at the same location a time plate to indicate the waiting restriction should be co-located with the overnight parking sign to avoid possible confusion. In the circumstances I am just persuaded that the signage was not as clear as it should have been and on this occasion the Appeal is allowed. The Appellant, however, should note that she cannot continue to plead ignorance or confusion indefinitely.

Single yellow line across a dropped kerb - This vehicle on the council's case was parked adjacent to a lowered footway.

The vehicle was resting on a single yellow line which runs alongside that lowered footway.
There was no dispute that the appellant had parked outside of the yellow line's hours of restriction.

The appellant submitted that given yellow line restrictions were not in force he believed he could park as he did.

There is both a prohibition on parking at this spot adjacent to the lowered footway AND a waiting restriction at it indicated by the single yellow line.

I was satisfied however having noted the appellant's submissions on the point that the marking of a single [as opposed to a double] yellow line alongside this lowered footway
misleads the motorist into thinking that he can park adjacent to it outside of restricted hours applicable in respect of the yellow line notwithstanding the prohibition that is in place. I was not for that reason satisfied that the prohibition on parking adjacent to a lowered footway at this location was clearly communicated to the motorist and found that the contravention had not therefore been proved.

Keep those Appeals coming. If your PCN is at full value you have nothing to lose by making
an Appeal to London Tribunals once you have a Notice of Rejection at full price (i.e. no 50% discount)

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance


Sunday, 18 September 2016

London Tribunals - Jan 16 - in the dark

In January 2016 the usual balance between the council and the motorist was found. Of the decided cases the motorist won 80 of them and the council 79 so that is almost as near to 50/50 as you can get.

There was only one case which presented any real interest.

The allegation in this case is that the vehicle was parked with one or more wheels on or over a footpath or any part of a road other than a carriageway. Mrs. M disputes this, stating that all the wheels were ‘on the road’ and nowhere near the pavement. She says that she is a disabled badge holder and parked on a single yellow line by virtue of the disabled badge.

Since 1974 there has been a London-wide prohibition on ‘footway parking’. The Highway Code advises that

‘You MUST NOT park anywhere partially or wholly on the pavement in London…’

The precise definition has been amended on several occasions and is presently expressed so that the contravention occurs if the vehicle is parked ‘with one or more wheels on or over a footpath or any part of a road other than a carriageway’. As the prohibition applies across London, there is no requirement for signage at any particular location.

The Enforcement Authority have provided photographs taken by the Civil Enforcement Officer which show the vehicle parked partly on a single yellow line. The single yellow line implies carriageway, although there are other features which might imply a vehicle crossover. It may be that Mrs. M has been fortunate on this occasion and I do not find that the vehicle was parked legally. However, it is the Enforcement Authority who must prove their case and on the evidence I have seen I am not satisfied that the contravention occurred. Accordingly I allow the appeal.

February might be a little more interesting.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

London Tribunals - December 15 - Costly

Image result for vomitorium
Improve your Latin

In December 15 there were 100 Barnet Council cases which ended up as allowed or refused. The motorist only won 43. Barnet Council are on a roll. A 50/50 split is the average outcome across London.

Only two non-routine cases.

Costs are rarely awarded.

I allowed this appeal on 31/07/15 following a personal hearing.

(The local authority do not deny that they received this payment but say in their case summary that the Appellant has not provided any evidence that this payment was for the vehicle the subject matter of the contravention.

The local authority having accepted that a payment was received should be able to trace from their records what the payment relates to and whether or not they incorrectly failed to credit the payment to the Appellant's vehicle.

In addition they should have explained why they were rejecting the Appellant's representations that a payment had been made, as not being valid, in their Notice of Rejection. Instead they have merely informed the Appellant that the evidence is not sufficient without any explanation as to why or what evidence the Appellant was expected to produce.

Considering the evidence carefully I am not satisfied that the contravention did occur or that the local authority have addressed the Appellant's representations properly.)

The Appellant has now applied for an order for costs and expenses to be made against the authority on the basis that their conduct in rejecting her original representations and resisting this appeal has been frivolous, vexatious or wholly unreasonable. The Authority have been sent copies of everything submitted, and have been requested to make any representations as to why an order for costs should not be made. They have not responded.

I allow the appellant's costs in the amount claimed of £54

Barnet Council are often disrespectful in not replying to tribunal correspondence. perhaps a cost order will make them more polite.

Don't drive before you vomit

The Appellant does not deny the contravention as such, but claims the exemption that he was unable to move his vehicle because of circumstances beyond his control - that his passenger, his wife who was pregnant, felt sick and he had to pull over, into what was in effect the middle of the road in a hatched area, where she vomited as seen by the civil enforcement officer.

The burden is upon the Appellant to prove this exemption that amounts in effect to a medical emergency. Clearly, the driver feeling unwell can be such an emergency as it could prevent a driver driving a vehicle safely. Where the feeling unwell is of a passenger, if it is not life threatening (requiring immediate medical attention), it is more difficult for this exemption to apply as in most cases the driver could have pulled over where it was legal to park as he was not prevented by sickness from driving.

In any event, the burden is upon the Appellant to establish that he is entitled to the exemption.

The civil enforcement officer recorded the following: driver returned after pcn was printed icO male 30’s 1.70m medium build he asked me to delete the pictures, his wife icO female 30’s . 1.70m medium build

she said she is pregnant and she came out from the back seats

after pt, pcn printed, awc, nbbv, nlul, pt, vda

I am not persuaded that the passenger became ill as he suggests, but even if I am wrong and she was, the exemption does not apply because the driver did not have to stop where he did double yellow line as the sickness was not an emergency in the sense of a serious illness requiring immediate medical attention.

In these circumstances, this appeal must be refused

You must tell the tribunal the truth otherwise you lose.

Gosh, we'll be in 2016 soon.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

London Tribunals - November 15 - Bleeding Hell

Sorry for the delay, just so many things to do.

In November 2015 there were 101 decided Appeal cases by independent adjudicators at the tribunal for Barnet Council.Of those the motorist only won 45% (45 in fact) and so Barnet Council had a better month than usual.

There were four unusual cases and part of the text of the decisions is repeated here.

Medical Emergency

I have considered the evidence in this case and I find that the Appellant stopped his vehicle due to a medical emergency over which he had no control.

I find that it was necessary for him to stop to check his bleeding to determine whether he could continue driving or required an ambulance, in case he was bleeding too profusely and could pass out whilst driving.

You do have to wonder why Barnet Council, or its contractor NSL, saw fit to fight this PCN to the end.

Wilful blindness

Mrs T explains that between the evening of 27 May and 08:30 on 28 May her car was stolen. She provides supporting evidence of that. She has a crime number from Hertfordshire police. She has evidence of a tax refund. LV Insurance have acknowledged that she is liable to receive an insurance claim in respect of the vehicle having been written off following an incident on 28 May 2015. There is an email from a Hertfordshire Police officer to Barnet parking services requesting details of the contravention.

Barnet council has been unable to verify the police reference number. However, given the totality of the evidence I am satisfied that although Mrs T was the registered keeper of the car on the day of this contravention, it had been stolen prior to the contravention and was being used without her consent. I allow the appeal.

Quite rightly, due to data protection, the police cannot tell Barnet Council or NSL anything about a reported crime without the consent of the registered keeper, when it is a mere civil contravention, a PCN, that is in question. It is wrong of the council or NSL to even phone the police.

How to turn a £1 into £56

The allegation in this case is that the vehicle was parked in a restricted street during prescribed hours. Mr P does not dispute this but says that he paid the reduced amount of £55 demanded of him in coin of the realm. He argues it would not be logical for him to pay £1 short.

In this case the Enforcement Authority have provided a copy of a cheque payment. Logical or not the cheque is for the sum of £54. It follows that, as payment of £55 was not made within the discount period, the Enforcement Authority are entitled to insist on payment of the full penalty charge of £110 and that the balance to pay is £56.

Legally correct but utterly mean & miserable.

Easier said than done.


The motorist is expected to manage the need for a toilet. The motorist who fails to stop in good time cannot rely on that failure to park in contravention when the need for the toilet becomes pressing. It would only be in exceptional circumstances that the need to use a toilet would provide an exemption from parking restrictions.

A question that comes up quite a lot. The need to spend a penny, or two, might cost you £110 in Barnet. You'll be less flush.

A report on the next month, hopefully, coming along soon.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Monday, 11 April 2016

London Tribunals - October 15: extraordinary

October 15 was a bad month for motorists. They won 34 out of 80 Appeals which is only 42% and below the norm of 50%. Must try harder.

Some of the cases the council lost were extra-ordinary. I repeat some of the text of the decisions here.

Never under-estimate the ability of the council to be truly horrible to you in your hour of need.

This is one of sixteen cases before me today which raise identical issues and this decision therefore covers all of them. I have heard the Appellant Mr R (on his own and his wife’s behalf) in considerable detail over two hearings; and at today’s hearing the Council was represented by its officer Mr Stone.

The essential facts are as follows. Mr R and family were rehoused by the Council at 24 hours’ notice. Mr R realised immediately that he would need a permit in order to park his vehicle and made considerable efforts to do what was necessary to obtain one; however before a permit was issued the vehicle was regularly parked in a permit bay with no permit on display. As a result a series of PCNs were issued over the end of December and in January of which the present group is only a selection.

Mr R’s case is, in summary, that he did everything he possibly could to obtain a permit and that there was nowhere else at all to park his vehicle in the meantime, bearing in mind he was at the time suffering from a disability which prevented him from walking any great distance. He states that he called the permit department Council on a number of occasions but was told that without the logbook to show the vehicle registered to the new address no permit could be issued. Mr R sent off the log book for change without delay. He also provided a copy of the tenancy agreement as proof of residence, though this should hardly have been necessary as the Council, having moved him, was well aware of his address. During the time he was awaiting the return of the logbook, PCNs were issued.

I had initially considered whether this was not a case of a Council seeking to enforce penalties for a failure to display a document which it had itself unreasonably failed to provide - a situation which might well be said to be the equivalent of an abuse of process and therefore one of those rare cases where an appeal can fall to be allowed on the basis of what is known as a collateral challenge. However having considered the matter carefully in the light of the evidence provided by Mr Stone and his submissions I am not persuaded that this exceptional stage has quite been reached. The position is that all that was required to be provided in order to obtain a temporary permit was a copy of the tenancy agreement (to prove residence) and a copy of the insurance document (to show the vehicle lived at that address) – in the absence of the log book showing the vehicle registered there. I am satisfied that this was not made sufficiently clear to the Appellant over the telephone; however it is made perfectly clear on the Council’s website which the Appeal, who I note has a smartphone, could easily have checked. It has to be said that one would naturally expect some delay in changing the details on the insurance and receiving confirmation of that, especially over the Christmas period. Nevertheless it seems to me the Appellant could have contacted his insurers and pushed them a little harder to provide the documentation he so urgently needed.

It follows that the vehicle was in contravention on each of these occasions and that it cannot be said the PCNs were issued anything other than lawfully. This is a case of mitigation rather than exemption and I am satisfied the circumstances taken as a whole amount to compelling reasons for the exercise of discretion by the Council (as I understand it has done in a number of other cases). This is a case of a resident who was, in general terms, allowed to park there as the eventual issue of the permit shows. This is not a case of a “foreign” vehicle intruding into valuable parking space intended for the residents. The Appellant was not in a position to provide the required documentation immediately and clearly went to a great deal of effort to try to obtain the permit. In doing so he was not greatly assisted by the Council (or its representatives). I am pleased to note that Mr Stone, having now heard the full story from Mr R for the first time, has very sensibly indicated that the Council would follow a recommendation for the exercise of discretion, which I now make in each of these cases. (For the avoidance of doubt a formal response to the recommendation within the statutory time limit is required, though I see no reason why a single response covering in terms all the cases would not suffice).

3 almost simultaneous Bus Lane PCN

The Appellant attended before me today to explain his contention personally.

There is no dispute as to the whereabouts of the vehicle, at the relevant time, on the material date.

The Enforcement Authority assert that the said vehicle, not being of the specified class, was driven at a location restricted for use by vehicles of a specific class only.

The Appellant denies liability for the ensuing Penalty Charge Notice on the basis of the prevailing circumstances and challenges as stated in his written representations, which he reiterated and comprehensively detailed at the Hearing.

The Enforcement Authority who assert that the said vehicle was so parked/driven contrary to, and during the operative period of, a restriction are obliged to adduce evidence to the requisite standard to substantiate that assertion.

The evidence upon which the Enforcement Authority rely to substantiate the assertion comprises the certified copy Penalty Charge Notice, and extracts of governing Traffic Management Order provisions, together with photographic evidence: still frames taken from CCTV footage showing the said vehicle in situ.

No evidence is adduced of the applicable signage implementing the restriction and notifying motorists of its times of operation.

The Enforcement Authority also adduce a map/plan dated 'Dec2009'; this is of limited evidential value since it sets out the proposed 'final layout' of signs, camera positions and carriageway markings only and does not provide an evidential record of what was present and visible to the motorist on the date in question.

Evidentially I cannot be satisfied that this contravention occurred.

I am concerned by the Enforcement Authority's reference to 'consecutive bus lanes' contraventions in the Case Summary for 2 reasons:-

Firstly, a break in a stretch of designated lane does not, of itself, create a different restriction if it is a continuous bus lane as per the Traffic Management Order.

Secondly, the Appellant drew my attention to the fact that he had paid a Penalty (within 14 days of receipt of the same) for an alleged Bus Lane transgression at on 9th May 2015 at 09:40 a.m., after which the current Enforcement Notice, issued on 1st June 2015, was received in respect of the exact same date at the exact same time as that which had been discharged.

Further the Appellant bought to the Hearing another Enforcement Notice, issued on 8th July 2015 relating to Penalty Charge Notice AG********, in respect of the exact same date at the exact same time.

I find it inconceivable that a vehicle can be in 3 separate bus lane locations at the same minute.

As regards the latter, despite endeavours to have both that and the present Penalty Charge Notice dealt with together, the Appellant informs that he has received no response to representations in the latter's regard yet Charge Certificates have been received for both. I note that the issue date of the Charge Certificate for this Penalty Charge Notice was after notification of this Appeal.

Evidentially I do not find that a contravention occurred, accordingly I allow this Appeal.

Do you suppose the council offices were open and full of workers on Easter Sunday?

This matter was listed as a personal hearing before me. Late notification was received that the appellant was unable to attend. However, by then I had already looked at the papers and as I was able to decide the case in the appellant's favour without hearing from her in person, there was no need to adjourn the case.

The appellant parked in pay by phone bay on an Easter Sunday. The instructions at the bay indicated that parking on bank holidays and public holidays is free. The authority's case is that Easter Sunday is not a public holiday.

Technically this may be true. However, I have no doubt whatsoever that almost any member of the public, if asked, would understand that Easter Day is a public holiday. If the authority is intent on penalising motorists on Easter Day then this should be made clear on the tariff notice. I have to say I find it quite extraordinary that the bays should be free on a Bank Holiday Monday but not on Easter Day. I imagine that the appellant believed likewise.

This appeal is thus allowed.

The reason this PCN was issued in the first place was because there restricted hours in bays in Golders  Green on Sundays.

Are you being served?

This PCN was issued for the alleged contravention of being parked in a special enforcement area adjacent to a footway, cycle track or verge lowered to meet the level of the carriageway.

Mr C appeals because he says that his car was not parked where there was a dropped kerb that meets the level of the carriageway. I have looked at the images taken by the CEO. It is unclear to me from these images whether or not the vehicle was parked next to a dropped footway and I am therefore not satisfied that the alleged contravention occurred.

I am also allowing the appeal because I am not satisfied that the PCN was correctly issued. The PCN was served by post under Regulation 10 (1)(c) of The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Regulations 2007 on the basis that the CEO had begun to prepare the PCN for service under Regulation 9 by handing it to the driver or affixing it to the vehicle but the vehicle was driven away before the CEO had finished preparing the notice or been able to serve it in accordance with Regulation 9.

The CEO's notes state that the CEO explained the contravention to the driver who then "refused the PCN". Mr C says that the CEO spoke to him and then scrunched up the PCN, placing it into his pocket. It seems to me clear from the evidence that the PCN had been completed and I can see no reason why the CEO could not have served the PCN by attaching it to the windscreen, especially bearing in mind that Mr C is an elderly and disabled gentleman.

My experience is that traffic wardens tell porkies about service all the time.

Taxi drivers - stop helping your passengers!

The Appellant says in his appeal form that he is a taxi driver and was assisting an elderly lady passenger with her belongings to his vehicle. In earlier representations he says he was helping the lady to where she was going and the civil enforcement officer recorded that: awc,nbbs,syl,pt,atv
ic2 male,glasses,long haired driver returned said he was dropping of mop taxi driver.
elderly lady needed help walking

The alighting exemption provides;

Nothing in Article 5 of this Order shall render it unlawful to cause or permit a vehicle to wait in any restricted street for so long as may be necessary for the purpose of enabling any person to board or alight from the vehicle or to load thereon or unload therefrom his personal luggage.

Provided that, except where the said person is suffering from any disability or injury which seriously impairs his ability to walk, or who is blind, no vehicle may so wait In the same place for a period of more then two minutes in any part of any street in the London Borough of Bamet specified in Schedule 5 which is a restricted street and is also a street specified in Schedule 2 during the restricted hours relating to that street in so far as the same fall between the hours of 7am and 10am and between the hours of 4pm and 7pm.

It is for the Appellant claiming the exemption to prove it and in the absence of any supporting written document ( confirmation of the fare/booking) he must provide details that are clear and consistent and here they are neither – e.g. was he picking up or dropping off a passenger?

The Enforcement Authority are wrong when they say that drivers must not leave their vehicles unattended at any point in order to qualify under the 'passengers alighting/boarding' exemption.

There is nothing in the wording of the exemption that states this and in certain circumstances a driver may leave his vehicle to assist passengers with luggage if they need or indeed escort children or disabled persons to and from premises.

One day the people who currently refuse perfectly valid challenges will be elderly and may need help with their luggage. I hope they will then be ashamed of their former behaviour.

Procedural impropriety

I heard at some length from the apellant on 26 October. My early view of the case was the the officer was not at fault in recording the vehicle where it was during the hour of restriction and issuing a penalty charge.

The appellant is principal carer for a son aged 22 who has a rare genetic condition which has been described in the medical report brought to the hearing.

On the day in question the appellant had been obliged to collect him and accompany him for an official interview near Finchley Central. It was important to arrive and arrive on time. The appellant described the sense of stress and frustration about not being able to park near his own house as he would normally have preferred.

The appellant is in what can only be an unfortunate position of living just beyond the edge of a boundary of a zone with an hourly restriction which is aimed at deterring commuters parking en route to the local station. The appellant's street becomes very congested and he is not entitled to a permit for the adjoining zone. He does not have off-street parking.

As I sought to explain at the hearing, the boundary is of necessity an arbitrary line and permit entitlement is a matter for the Council. Dissatisfaction as to where it lies and non-eligibility for a permit do not give grounds for a successful appeal.

Looked at broadly I was however sympathetic to the personal and family circumstances described to me, especially for the important day in question, and although the appellant made the wrong decision in parking where recorded, I could identify powerful mitigation rather than a legal defence.

I rejected the appellant complaint about the notice of rejection suggesting an appeal could be made electronically when in fact that facility had not yet come about.

When I scrutinised the timetable of events after the appeal being lodged with the Tribunal on 28 September and the Council being notified electronically on 29 September, I could see that the Council had been at fault in permitting the matter to proceed through to registration, and indeed the production for despatch of a TE (Order for Recovery) form on 2 October.

I could not identify special reasons why the case had progressed in this fashion when I believe it should not have done, and I have been prepared to record the appeal as allowed on that basis. In the particular circumstances of the case I have accepted that the documents sent out after lodging the appeal did cause actual distress to the appellant.

In any event I have now recorded this appeal as allowed.

Adjudicators have to apply the law but when they feel sympathy for the motorist they will themselves spend time looking for a loophole.

Burglary followed by attempted extortion?

I have seen the appellant letter of 5 October with a copy of the e-mail from Ringgo and examined the Tribunal dossier.

I have seen that the van was a hired one but it seems to me from the correspondence I have examined that the appellant previously had a Ringgo account and on that basis it seems to me inherently unlikely that the critical error of using Ringo instead of Verrus is fairly attributable to advice actually given by a patrolling officer seeking to be helpful. Patrolling officers may very well not be expert from personal experience in actually transacting the purchase of time and the identification of the correct operator is ultimately a motorist responsibility in my judgment.

It is consequently my conclusion that the contravention did occur. Although the appellant has I believe probably exaggerated her case about blaming any enforcement officer, I do consider having regard to the surrounding traumatic circumstances of domestic burglary and hiring the van, the error that occurred is the more readily explained and does have powerful mitigation.

I am on that basis urging the Council to be lenient in relation to this particular case and agree to a discretionary cancellation.

That's enough for this month.

Keep those Appeals coming as 80 is far too few for one month.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance