Monday, 23 July 2012

PATAS results from 2 to 7 July

Here we go with another week at PATAS. We are getting to the more recent cases which should be going 50:50 between the council and the motorist but the motorist still has the upper hand thanks to Barnet Council tying one hand behind their back, if not both, when they signed up with NSl and obviously they haven't sorted out the transfer properly.

Appeal Appeal
July Allowed Refused
2 0 1
3 1 0
4 2 0
5 6 4
6 1 0
7 2 1
Totals 12 6

The figures are distorted by the 5 July when one motorist had 4 appeals heard. The car was apparently with his garage to repair and they drove it through 4 bus lanes, road testing one supposes. The offence was committed and although it seems a bit rough when you don't even have the keys the motorist has lost all 4 appeals. The decent thing would be for the council to cancel 3 of them (as bus lanes are artificially broken up by side turnings) but it won't happen as they are too desperate to hold on to the cash. I wonder what the highest number of bus lanes tickets one motorist has ever received for driving up one road in one journey?

The 2 July motorist was a bit late out of bed and the time on the photographs cost him £110.

3 July is interesting. Coming home a motorist was prevented from fully entering his drive by his sister's car. He left the engine running whilst he went in the house (this is a breach of the Highway Code but luckily that is a police matter otherwise another ticket would have been issued, it is also foolish as your car might get stolen) and received a parking ticket during that time. The motorist, Mr S, is, I am delighted to note, a frequent appealer and was believed by PATAS. It was rather an over-zealous ticket as what was going on must have been obvious to the traffic warden.

On 4 July a resident of Sheffield contested the two tickets on the grounds that he had sold his vehicle. Evidence to this effect from DVLA was not accepted by Barnet Council. The commonsense fact that he lived in Sheffield and so was unlikely to be incurring multiple fines in Barnet was a telling factor and both tickets are to be cancelled.

On 5 July there are notes of poor evidence of a motorist being in a bus lane being supplied, of poor evidence generally being supplied and it not being clear exactly what was being supplied, of poor quality photos from the borough, and of the council (or NSL) providing google photographs (they will be a year or two out of date - this smacks of desperation) and poor quality photos taken by the traffic warden at dusk.

There was also a no-show by the council/NSL to a personal hearing. The motorist didn't show either, perhaps because he knew the council were not bothering, and the paperwork was used as the basis to decide in favour of the motorist.

6 July no paperwork from the council/NSL.

On 7 July a parking ticket issued to a Doctor was cancelled as it had not been correctly issued.

Another motorist was being deprived of a fair hearing due to significant shortcomings in the Authority's case (that reads like a warning to me to Barnet Council). Here are the notes.

The Appellant attended in person.

There are significant shortcomings in the Authorities case. First, the Notice of Rejection that the enforcement officer noticed the Appellant's vehicle in a resident's bay and it went on to say that the Appellant had not pay and displayed. This was repeated in the case summary. One cannot have a contravention of failing to pay at display while at a resident's bay.

Secondly, the Authority asserted that because motorists are not permitted to park without payment after the Authority had successfully rolled out cashless parking. I cannot accept this statement at all. There is no evidence that a cashless system was in operation. In fact, the contrary appears to be true. There was a pay and display machine, the CEO commented that he did not see a pay and display ticket and he took a photograph of the pay and display machine. The best that can be said was that there was a parallel system of pay and display and pay by phone. If pay and display is allowed, then motorists are allowed time to purchase a ticket and where necessary go to a second machine to do so if the first one did not work. There was no evidence to contradict the Appellant's assertion that several machines were out of action which explained his being away for several minutes.

Thirdly, the Appellant said that he was told by an enforcement officer that he should leave a note then go to find a working machine. The presence of a note would therefore lend some weight to this assertion especially as the CEO stated that no note was seen. The Authority has a photograph of the dashboard and it is more than likely that it would support or rebut the Appellant's account. The Authority presented the photograph as a thumbnail in a small screenshot. No meaningful details can be ascertained. This has deprived the Appellant of the opportunity of a fair hearing.
Barnet Council/NSL are, it would seem, in a complete mess.

On another case that day the ticket machine was out of order and the motorist did not have a  debit card. Tough. The parking ticket has to be paid.

All in all a very interesting week showing that Barnet Council/NSL have not get their joint act together more than 2 months after the contract started and that if you have a logical argument supported by evidence you stand a good chance of getting your parking ticket squashed.

Keep those appeals coming.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

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